Adios, Pizza Man. And thanks.
Adios, Pizza Man. And thanks.

How Pizza Man made me a parent

From the title of this blog, you might think I became a parent after an evening of consuming way too much wine at Pizza Man. Sorry to report, that is not the case.

As you probably already know, this morning,  Pizza Man -- along with Cush, Black & White and Grecian Delight -- was destroyed by a fire.

The iconic pizza eatery with the phallic sign is no longer.

This fire creates a trifecta of East Side blazes: the 1988 Century Hall fire, the 1993 Beans & Barley fire and now this.

Before I explain exactly how Pizza Man made me a parent, I must express that I really cannot believe the bar and restaurant is gone.

I grew up on the East Side and Pizza Man was one of my favorite eateries. I particularly loved going during the holidays, but really, any season was perfect for the artichoke à la mode and a glass of wine.

But back to the connection between Pizza Man and my 7-year-old son.

My husband and I were in Guatemala in 2003, finalizing the adoption of our son. It had been a slow, frustrating process and we were warned that things could still go wrong during the very last step at the American embassy.

We waited in a long line with our 9-month-old baby to get into the embassy to finalize our adoption. We were nervous. Already, we had jumped through so many hoops and crossed through so much red tape, that the thought of a glitch during the final step was too much to think about. So I bit my nails and overfed the baby instead.

Finally, it was our turn to stand at the window and talk to the man behind glass. He seemed very serious at first, his brow furrowed while he read our paperwork.

"You’re from Milwaukee?" he finally asked.

"Yes," I said.

"You ever eat at Pizza Man?" he asked in a very serious tone.

"It’s one of our favorite restaurants!" I said.

Finally, he smiled, stamped a bunch of our papers and said, "Congratulations."

When we returned home from Guatemala, you know where we celebrated.

Talkbacks

deank | Feb. 12, 2010 at 6:43 p.m. (report)

Just came across this (a little late I know) and had to say it's a great story! I took my wife to Pizza Man for our first date. A few years later we were married and bought a house. Molly you may remember us as the couple who bought your house on 14th! A couple years after that we took our parents to Pizza Man to announce that we were pregnant with our first. Many great meals and memories were shared there and it is really sad that it is gone...

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MrsKC | Jan. 22, 2010 at 11:58 a.m. (report)

That is the sweetest story. Way to make me tear up at work Molly.

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Nubs4 | Jan. 20, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. (report)

that is an outstanding story!

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NoH20Streeters | Jan. 20, 2010 at 9:28 a.m. (report)

Stories like this remind me why I love Milwaukee.

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mkegirl | Jan. 19, 2010 at 8:28 p.m. (report)

what a great story! pizza man was the first milwaukee restaurant i ever ate at, when i was visiting milwaukee before i moved here. and it was the first restaurant i took my parents to when they visited me the first time. so sad...

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