East Side Italian Restaurant Announces Sudden Closure
Just weeks after reopening following fire, Tavolino abruptly closed Monday.
For the past several weeks, the dining room at Tavolino has regularly filled with diners. Light, laughter and the smell of fresh herbs and garlic spilled over from the Italian restaurant’s wide-open front windows into the streets of the East Side.
The scene, although typical for many Milwaukee restaurants, had an extra air of celebration, as it followed Tavolino’s 12-week closure due to a fire in the building.
But Monday night, the restaurant abruptly announced its closure — at least for the foreseeable future.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that Tavolino will be closed until further notice,” co-owner Peter Dietrich wrote in an online post.
Dietrich and Derek Nackers opened Tavolino — Italian for “little table” — in 2020. The restaurant replaced Divino Wine & Dine at 2315 N. Murray Ave., serving upscale Italian dishes with an emphasis on fresh pasta.
The building is also home to Izzy Hops and Kawa, both of which opened in 2017. The night of June 6, a fire in the Kawa kitchen took all three businesses out of commission for several weeks — at minimum.
Izzy Hops reopened Aug. 21, followed by Tavolino on Aug. 28. Kawa’s closure is still ongoing; the Japanese restaurant will operate at the nearby Crossroads Collective until repairs to its kitchen and dining room are complete.
During Tavolino’s nearly three-month closure, Classic Lanes Greenfield organized a fundraiser on behalf of the restaurant. The Tavolino Employee Assistance Fund raised $3,135. According to the fundraiser’s description, donations were to “go directly to the Tavolino employees” in order to “allow them to continue to pay their ongoing expenses until the restaurant opens for sull service.”
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue‘s public list of delinquent taxpayers lists DP Hospitality Group LLC, an entity of Dietrich, as owing $20,772. Since the beginning of 2022, the Department of Revenue has filed 18 claims against the group.
Dietrich did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
Update: After publication, one vendor told Urban Milwaukee that their company has not received payment from Tavolino.
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