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Larry and his wife, Audra.
Larry and his wife, Audra. (Photo: Facebook)

Cheers to you, Ilario "Larry" Fazzari

My wife said it best, "Larry made it comfortable, welcoming for me to sit at the bar, talk and just be myself."  For the Shermans, the Calderone Club is "our club." It's blocks from our Downtown condo, a regular stop before and after Bucks and Marquette games and well, it's family.  Not to mention, it's home to the best pizza in greater Milwaukee.

This weekend,  Ilario (Larry) Fazzari passed away.  Larry, only 57, was a dad, a husband, a grandfather, a passionate "car guy," and one of the best front house restaurant people you'll ever meet. 

I'd often sit at the Calderone Club bar, with my then 2- or 3-year-old, son and Larry would talk cars, sports and life with Jake (my son) and I.  It was what he did. 

He cared, he built family and with his family he's helped grow Calderone Club into a greater Milwaukee institution.  He'd high five my son, chat him up and Jake couldn't wait for his next trip so Larry could make him a custom "kiddy cocktail," and ask him about school, basketball and his family.  Yep, family. That was Larry. 

He, as you may know, not only worked at the Downtown but helped run the Fox Point Calderone location with his brother Carmelo.  His brother Gino runs Downtown.  Calderone, needless to say, is a family business so when a family member passes away the extended family (all of us as customers) cry, pray and care. 

Larry had a smile that never quit, a charm that was all his own and a sense of humor that I just want to hug him now for.  I'm fighting back the tears typing his, but know that time next time my family prays and toasts (and many more after that) we'll honor Larry and all that he did to make us all smile, care and truly understand the value of family. 

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