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After a nine-year run, Rustico will be closing.

Rustico closes after nine years, making way for dual-themed sports bar

If a highlight of your summer is enjoying pizza, pasta or weekend brunch on the Rustico patio in the Third Ward, now is the time to get your final fix.

The restaurant, which has been a fixture on Water Street since 2008, will be observing its last day of service on Saturday, July 2.

Owner Brian Zarletti has confirmed the closing, noting that he'll be taking time to focus on the other two Zarletti concepts.

"We've had a great nine-year run," he says. "And that's no small feat. It's not without sadness that we're giving this up. However, it's time to refocus our energy."

But the space won't be vacant for long. Joshua Janis, owner of Refuge Cafes, will be opening Rivalry, a dual-level sports-themed bar described as "comfortable and trendy with the best food and drink from both Illinois and Wisconsin."

According to Janis, the upstairs (street level) will feature a Wisconsin theme, along with state-themed sports coverage. Meanwhile the downstairs (riverfront level) will carry an Illinois theme, featuring games for Chicago/Illinois teams.
Watch for more information at OnMilwaukee as it becomes available.

Talkbacks

EatmyChocolate | July 19, 2016 at 11:43 a.m. (report)

I spit on cars with IL license plates. Nobody likes that kind around here.

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Daniel | June 24, 2016 at 8:31 a.m. (report)

Horrible concept. Milwaukee does not need a bar that caters to FIBs in any shape or form. Are the owners Illinois-based? It would only make sense. No real Wisconsinite would do this.

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mkeisfun | June 23, 2016 at 11:57 a.m. (report)

That's fitting they are putting the Chicago/Illinois in the basement, as that building's sewer backs up on the basement floor on a weekly basis. Good call on putting Wisconsin on the upper level.

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brewpunk | June 22, 2016 at 3:41 p.m. (report)

Chicago/Illinois teams can suck it! The thought of this opening in a such a great MKE location makes me ill. It's bad enough dealing with the Cub A-holes at Miller Park. Expect boos from the riverwalk on a daily basis!

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