Are You Ready for Some Pizza?
by Barb Haig •
After months of planning, remodeling is underway at Wy’east Pizza on the corner of Hawley and Vliet. Owners Ann Brock and James Durawa moved back to Wisconsin in 2013 from Portland and hope to open the much-awaited pizza restaurant in January.
“The building itself is the first part of the improvement andincludes seating for 24 plus five counter stools,” Brock says. “We will move the door to create pedestrian friendly access off of Hawley and will improve the lot in the spring of 2016, post thaw. This will include the addition of an outdoor seating area on the Hawley side, landscaping in several areas, new fencing and reduced car access to slow down vehicle movement through the lot. We will also add bike stables for bike parking.”
In Portland Wy’east was named one of the top 64 pizzerias in the country by chef Rachael Ray. The new facility located on the site of the former Papa Joe’s will feature a gas-powered, domed Italian pizza oven that will bake 14-inch pizzas at 800 degrees in just a few minutes. The restaurant will feature dine-in and take-out pizzas with fresh ingredients such as walnuts, spicy red peppers and sweet corn.
“We like the neighborhood and really like the Vliet Street business area because it is focused on small, locally owned businesses. It has been fun to rediscover Milwaukee and see how much has changed since we left,” Brock says.
“We have had many people reach out and stop by the building to offer words of encouragement and support. We’re very excited to see this project move forward and can’t wait to start up the oven and make lots of pizza again,” she said.