Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Paul and Joe Bartolotta’s Wisconsin restaurant empire. It started with Ristorante Bartolotta in Wauwatosa, Wis., in 1993. Now, the business has expanded to 16 concepts across the Milwaukee area, from upscale Italian and French bistros to the fast-casual Miss Beverly’s Deluxe Barbeque and Downtown Kitchen.
The brothers aren’t focused just on traditional restaurants to deepen their mark on the area. They’ve also moved into the noncommercial space to reach more Wisconsonites—this time during the workday. They're operating U.S. Bank Center’s Downtown Kitchen and recently inking a deal to take over foodservice at The Kohl’s Corp. headquarters in Menomonee Falls, Wis.
“Rather than investing a lot of our monetary capital into new projects, we’re developing partnerships that allow us to leverage our intellectual capital,” Joe Bartolotta told Milwaukee Magazine. "We’re using our thinking and our experience to create new opportunities.”