Mimma's to close, as new owners consider options
Earlier this week, OnMilwaukee was first to report that Jeno and Lorenzo Cataldo purchased the building that houses the neighborhood's iconic Italian restaurant, Mimma's Cafe, 1307 E. Brady St.
The brothers, who also own Jo-Cat's Pub next door, met with Girolama "Mimma" Megna, the owner of Mimma's, to discuss what she wanted to do with the restaurant she opened in 1988.
"We left it up to her and she chose to retire," says Jeno Cataldo. "We are excited about the possibilities but also very sad to see her go. Mimma was responsible for helping to transition Brady Street and change the tone in the late '80s and early '90s."
Cataldo says he's been approached by a few people who've inquired about leasing the space, and, although that's a possibility, he and Lorenzo are still deciding if they want to open their own Italian restaurant. The brothers' family owned Cataldo's – which was also on Brady Street at 815 E. Brady St. – for 40 years.
"We are considering opening a modern take on an Italian family restaurant, but with a very Brady Street feel to it," says Cataldo. "Good food, good wine and nothing over $20. The kind of place you could go to once a week, not once a month."
Cataldo says they will make a decision by early November, and Mimma's will close by the end of the year.
"We didn't think it would happen this quickly, but we respect her wishes and will help make sure she goes out the way she deserves," says Cataldo. "Mimma has been very, very gracious and classy throughout this process."
Before Mimma's shutters, Cataldo encouraged people to have a final meal at the 28-year-old restaurant.
"There aren't many places like Mimma's left," says Cataldo. "I'd love to see anyone who ever had a good meal at Mimma's to pop in one more time to enjoy it. And then stop at Jo-Cat's for a nightcap."
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