Scardina Specialties New Deli is Official
The owner of the beloved Riverwest deli has officially secure a new home for it.
In February, Urban Milwaukee reported that owner Damien Scardina had plans to relocate the business to 713-715 E. Locust St. after the building that was their original home was shut down and condemned by the city.
“We are ready to Rock N’ Roll!” Scardina told Urban Milwaukee in an email.
The new building was formerly the Riverwest Healing Arts. It’s bigger than the old deli and opens up some new opportunities for the business. “We’ll double in size and then some,” Scardina said. The new deli will have a full kitchen and small dine-in space, and an expanded hot food menu.
Scardina Specialties is a family-owned business that’s been operating in Riverwest since 2012. It has a loyal base of customers in the neighborhood, and many others that make the journey from other parts of the city for their signature sausages, take and bake pizzas, and spiedini.
The business abruptly closed in 2021 when the city’s Department of Neighborhood Services declared the building it was in “unfit for human habitation” and issued a raze order.
“To close, and to be done like that, I was like ‘No way, that’s not an option.,” Scardina told Urban Milwaukee in February this year.
On Friday, the deli posted to its Facebook page for the first time in nearly 10 months, saying “We’ve been reluctant to share any information due to the uncertainty of our future. That has changed as of a couple of days ago. We do apologize to our customers. We did not mean to leave you out of the loop.”
Scardina has been looking for a new space in Riverwest since the business was shut down, refusing to reopen anywhere else. “The people here in Riverwest have been really good to us,” Scardina said. When the deli reopens, he said he wants to have a beer from each of the Riverwest breweries: Lakefront Brewery, Black Husky Brewing, Gathering Place Brewing Company and Company Brewing.
“I wouldn’t go anywhere else to do this,” Scardina said in February. “This is my place to be.”
The plan right now is to have the new deli open by midsummer, but it still plans to be a part of the first Locust Street Festival – Sunday, June 12 – since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.