Phil Vassar and Rick Springfield aren’t only experts at the touring game, regularly hitting Milwaukee and especially the Big Gig. They’re also both aficionados of some of the finest pizza and Italian food anywhere: the crispy crusts, pasta and meat balls at Calderone Club in Downtown.
In town for Summerfest – Vassar headlined the Uline Warehouse Saturday night while Springfield rocked the new U.S. Cellular Connection Stage Sunday evening – both chose to dine Friday at Calederone Club before their shows.
A Summerfest staple, Vassar has been coming to the Milwaukee restaurant for years, becoming good friends with Calderone Club owner Gino Fazzari.
"Phil Vassar and his band were eating lunch at Calderone Club – their traditional pre-concert meal," Fazzari told me via text. "I was sitting with them when in walks Rick Springfield and his band and wife. Phil’s entire table lit up. It seems that meeting Rick has always been on Phil’s bucket list. Phil does a song or two in his set list that are Rick’s that he performs at most every show."
"So I walked over to Rick and introduced myself and asked if he wanted to come over and say hello to Phil," Fazzari continued. "The two of them hit it off right away. The bands have a lot of mutual friends and they both enjoyed a few short laughs and talked about how they enjoyed Milwaukee and how cool it is to play Summerfest."
Fazzari also mentioned that both groups enjoyed several authentic Italian treats and some fantastic Italian wine.
There’s a ton of great food at Summerfest, of course. But it’s great to see acts and guests getting out and enjoying all that Downtown Milwaukee has to offer, too.
"As always, I truly appreciate meeting all the fantastic people that Summerfest brings to Milwaukee and through our door at Calderone and San Giorgio," Fazzari said.
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.