In 1970, Mike Amidzich purchased a small carry-out pizza restaurant that he soon renamed Pizza Man and set off to satisfy the munchies of Milwaukee’s hippy-dippy East Side. Proud to fill the niche by offering pizza delivery service until 4 am, he also gave his unsuspecting customers a free quart of Pepsi with every order to wash down the pizza and quench the cottonmouths of his growing fan base. Soon, word spread of Pizza Man’s incredible pizza, free quart of Pepsi and late night delivery and business exploded!
Over time Mike integrated his love for Napa Valley wine into the fabric of the restaurant, eventually curating one of the largest domestic wine lists in the Midwest. He even went so far as to offer every single bottle on his list, which at one point featured over 600 different selections, by the glass! In 1989 Pizza Man won its first Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and has continued to receive this prestigious recognition every year since.
To Milwaukee’s horror, on January 18th, 2010, Pizza Man burned to the ground in a tragic fire. In 2003, a small group of Pizza Man fanatics were able to convince Mike the business that had captured Milwaukeean’s hearts ( and stomachs ) over the previous 40 years needed to be reborn and our East Side location was built on the corner of Downer and Belleview. Designed by Rinka Chung Architects, the striking building features cozy elements reminiscent of the original location, reclaimed Wisconsin barn wood, a striking and whimsical wine bottle chandelier, and a modern open, airy feel with the addition of a one-of-a-kind second-floor patio with a retractable glass roof.
Husband and wife team, Zak and Sarah Baker came aboard to run the operations of Pizza Man as it’s size had nearly quadrupled from its humble beginnings as a 50 seat restaurant on the corner of North and Oakland. They brought with them a combined 28 years of experience in fine dining, a deep passion for Italian food and wine and a near obsession with hospitality. Along with Mike and the investment team, they have brought Pizza Man into the hearts and memories of the next generation of Pizza Man fanatics.
Two years and countless requests later the Pizza Man family expanded once more, this time a little further west in Wauwatosa’s Mayfair Collection on the intersection of Burleigh Road and Highway 45. Again designed by Rinka Chung Architects, the “Tosa location features reclaimed Wisconsin barn wood, industrial elements, and a glass enclosed atrium. The “Tosa location incorporates more private dining and event space, including a beautifully crafted fireplace room which features an astounding 90” flat screen television and a smaller wine room equipped with a projector and a retractable screen, perfect for meetings and presentations. This remarkable location offers two levels of seating and can accommodate nearly 300 guests.