Sophie Bolich

New Owners of Former Vitucci’s Plan New Bar-Restaurant

Historic East Side tavern's renovations to include retractable garage door walls and new bar.

By - Jul 14th, 2022 02:05 pm
Vitucci’s, 1832 E. North Ave., photo taken March 5th, 2021 by Dave Reid.

Vitucci’s, 1832 E. North Ave., photo taken March 5th, 2021 by Dave Reid.

The 2019 closure of Vitucci’s Lounge, 1832 E. North Ave., was a hit to the community, and many took to social media to pay their respects to the historic bar. Its fans can look forward to a new venue taking up residence in the space.

Bryan O’Boyle, Adam Jansen and Faisal Ahmed-Yahia purchased the former Vitucci’s building for $770,000 with plans to open a restaurant-bar by the end of the year.

The trio plans to fully gut and renovate the structure, adding changes that will optimize the versatility of the space and help to ease transitions from the lunch rush to happy hour to late-night bar.

The vision is a fresh, modern look with a bit of old-school charm, according to Ahmed-Yahia. The restaurant-bar will offer “a little bit of everything,” he added.

The owners hope to pull in a full spectrum of patrons—from business professionals to the college crowd.

Renovations will include retractable garage door walls, an open kitchen, a new bar and a back room for private events.

In its heyday, Vitucci’s was a haven for live music events, and the new owners confirmed plans to keep that tradition alive.

Ahmed-Yahia said the restaurant-bar will offer a full menu featuring upscale bar food like wings, burgers and salad.

All three owners have roots in the health care industry, but have always dreamed of opening a business together. When Vitucci’s went on the market, they felt it was now or never, Ahmed-Yahia said. “We jumped on the opportunity.”

Though he is passionate about the new venture, Admeh-Yahia said he plans to stay in health care, at least for now, but is open to all possibilities.

“We think we made the right decision, and we love the space and the location,” he said. “We’re just excited to get to know the neighborhood and the community.”

The trio had ambitious plans to open in time for Packer season but, like many restaurateurs, are dealing with supply chain issues. Ahmed-Yahia said he is staying flexible as to the timing. The new target is to be open by the new year.

Vitucci’s, opened by Frank Vitucci in 1935, had an 84-year run on North Avenue before closing in 2019. The bar was a family legacy for four generations, as an Urban Milwaukee story recounted.

Vitucci’s former owners are not involved in planning for the new space.

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