“It is Pizza Man”
Landmark restaurant is one step closer to re-opening, with a design that borrows from Cafe Benelux.
On Thursday we reported that Pizza Man was the likely tenant for 2597 N. Downer Ave, and during today’s meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) Matt Rinka, Rinka Chung Architecture, confirmed it. Rinka stated “it’s an important tenant not just for the street but for Milwaukee…It is Pizza Man.”
Rinka was before HPC requesting a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) to allow the proposed design for Pizza Man’s new restaurant to move forward. The design includes a second floor balcony, that requires the removal of a number of windows to create entrances, though the intent is to re-use the original terracotta in the new openings. Not visible in the renderings is the opening up of the roof to create an additional 800 square foot outdoor eating area on the second floor. To accomplish this a new floor structure, similar to what was done at Cafe Benelux, will be built. Further there will be a sliding storefront system on Downer Ave. to better connect the space to the street.
Commissioner Randy Bryant explained that “this is a sensitive adaptive re-use,” and moved for approval of the COA. The COA was approved by the commission with a small change to one of the openings on the balcony. Only Commissioner Ann Pieper voted in opposition, as she had concerns regarding the appropriateness of the balcony. The project has multiple approvals left to obtain. The City Plan Commission will likely take up a minor change to the site’s zoning on December 10th, and then the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee would continue the process on December 11th. If the project receives the needed approval Pizza Man is slated to open by Spring.
People: Ann Pieper, Matt Rinka
Building(s): 2597 N. Downer Ave
Government: Historic Preservation Commission
Neighborhood(s): Downer Woods, East Side