By Jeff Sherman Staff Writer Published Nov 25, 2006 at 10:25 AM
Bright, spacious and wonderfully smoke-free (don’t worry, smokers, there’s easy access to a Riverwalk smoking area) the new Riverfront Pizzeria Bar and Grill, 509 E. Erie St., is poised to throw its hat into the ring as best pizza in Downtown.

A Friday night visit to the new Third Ward stop found it full of people -- including Fox 6’s Mark Concannon, his wife and a group of friends -- good service, fun vibes and wonderful pizza.

A second location for owners Rick & Kathy Loch, this space is a joint family venture from son, Rich and his sister Brenda Regenfelder. Riverfront Pizza Bar and Grill has successfully replicated its thin (but not paper thin) crust, zesty sauce and warm Italian spirit from its original Greendale location, 5627 Broad St.

With 10 specialty pizzas on the menu, there’s more than enough selection to make any group happy. There’s a taco pizza, a cheeseburger variety, a BLT, a veggie, the standard deluxe (cheese, sausage or pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, onions, green peppers and black olives), the special (cheese, sausage or pepperoni, fresh mushrooms and onions) and others. Of course, you can also customize with additional toppings.

Our group of six snagged a table just at the end of the bar, within viewing distance of the two flat screens, ordered beers from the solid list and two large (15-inch) pizzas. The Mediterranean variety was amazing. With Roma tomatoes, green and black olives, onions, sausage and cheese it was the perfect post-Thanksgiving feast. Our special pizza (cheese, pepperoni, fresh mushrooms and onions) was equally good with perfectly melted cheeses and yes, mushrooms that were fresh, not from a can.

If you were wondering, our bill (that included 10 beers, one soda and two pizzas) came to about $90. The large special pizza was priced at $18.25. 

Not in the mood for pizza? The new Riverwalk stop offers Italian-American comfort food as well. Sandwiches, panini, burgers, pasta and even a fish fry are all on the menu.

It’s always made me a bit sad that one of Milwaukee’s most Italian neighborhoods lacked a great Italian joint. While Americanized pizza may not be the most Italian of all the country’s foods, let’s face it it’s what many associate with Italian cooking. So, the Italian in me warmly welcomes great pizza to the neighborhood.

In a city full of many fine pizza options, Milwaukee’s Third Ward has found, thanks to Greendale, another great pizza and a new, cozy family-style restaurant that’s sure to please for years to come.
Jeff Sherman Staff Writer

A life-long and passionate community leader and Milwaukeean, Jeff Sherman is a co-founder of OnMilwaukee.

He grew up in Wauwatosa and graduated from Marquette University, as a Warrior. He holds an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University, and is the founding president of Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM)/Fuel Milwaukee.

Early in his career, Sherman was one of youngest members of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, and currently is involved in numerous civic and community groups - including board positions at The Wisconsin Center District, Wisconsin Club and Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.  He's honored to have been named to The Business Journal's "30 under 30" and Milwaukee Magazine's "35 under 35" lists.  

He owns a condo in Downtown and lives in greater Milwaukee with his wife Stephanie, his son, Jake, and daughter Pierce. He's a political, music, sports and news junkie and thinks, for what it's worth, that all new movies should be released in theaters, on demand, online and on DVD simultaneously.

He also thinks you should read OnMilwaukee each and every day.