In 2010 we built the new Glorioso’s Italian Market in the old Astor Theater building on Milwaukee’s East Side. Their previous location on Brady Street had been their small Italian Market for over 65 years. The original store was about 3,000 square feet. It was the ground floor of two adjoining buildings that were both over 100 years old. The building was in Milwaukee’s historical preservation corridor. These two buildings were built by significant architects from Milwaukee’s past. Over the course of the years the building’s façade had been covered by modern materials and had lost all its classic style and appeal. Michael Glorioso the son of Ted Glorioso, one of the three founding Glorioso brothers, had a vision for reinventing this space. He contacted our company to begin discussion on how to proceed with renovating the building, and creating a use within that would celebrate Italian food and culture.
Interior demolition and removal of offending exterior cladding was undertaken. The condition of the building had to be assessed, in order to develop a plan for repairs and restoration. The plan for the interior was to create three unique functional spaces. The primary use was to be called “Scoula”. Scoula is the teaching function where guests can learn how to make Italian fare. It’s a small upscale space where patrons are given “hands on” instruction. “Eventi” is the middle space. Eventi is a small intimate area that can be rented for special occasions. Eventi and Scoula combined can be used by the Glorioso’s grocery store, for their special events. The Glorioso’s hold numerous events throughout the year promoting wine tastings, cheese pairings, olive oil samplings and other specialty Italian foods. Customers purchase tickets to attend these events. They get to sample Glorioso’s exceptional foods and products that they sell within their market. The third component of the design is called “Cucina”. Cucina is a catering and production kitchen that helps support the catering created at the grocery store level. Cucina also has a small bakery, with a modest retail component for selling Italian bakery goods and espresso.
This project took nearly a year to complete. The building and its systems were deteriorating. The restoration of the building and the interior build-out have been recognized by the city and by the Historical Preservation committee.
Helping our customer restore a Milwaukee landmark, all while creating a fun way to celebrate food and the Italian culture, wasn’t necessarily a normal project for us. In the end, the results are quite impressive and one we are very proud of.