Alioto's 100 Year Anniversary
Alioto's Restaurant is celebrating our 100-year anniversary this year. A legacy that began when "Papa" John Alioto came to Milwaukee from Sicily.
In 1923 Papa John opened "Alioto's Garden", a tavern in the Third Ward that also served food. Using Alioto's as a base of operation, Papa helped countless Italian immigrants find jobs and housing when they moved to Milwaukee. He also had a 9-month "vacation" for bootlegging, where he learned to read and write English.
In the early 1930's Papa's wife, Catherine, opened a dry goods store where she would sell Alioto's tomato sauce and meatballs. The store became a hot spot for Big Bands. Tommy Dorcy and Glen Miller would stop by whenever they were in Milwaukee for the famous sauce and meatballs. The sauce and meatballs gained further notoriety when Papa and Catherine's children would sell them at the train station. The children would load up a wagon full of the sauce and meatballs and sell to the troops arriving home. The recipe is still used today at Alioto's Restaurant in Wauawatosa.
Papa John's next venture was to open a restaurant for his sons, Joe and Angelo, to run when they returned home from World War II. This Restaurant was located at the corner of Michigan and Van Buren. Alioto's Restaurant was a huge success in the heart of Milwaukee's thriving downtown. Unfortunately, the city claimed "eminent domain" on the land. It would become the site where the city's first skyscraper was built. In 1958, Papa built the current location at 3041 N Mayfair Rd in Wauwatosa. At this time, John would transfer ownership to three of his children, Frances, Joe, and Angelo.
The Alioto children would continue to run the Restaurant for many years. However, one of Angelo's daughters, Catherine "Kiki" Alioto would quickly become the face of the Restaurant. Kiki married Tom Warren in 1974, and the loving pair ran Alioto's together untiI Kiki's untimely passing in 2016. Before she died, the couple gained sole ownership of the Restaurant (in 2012) from the remaining family members. Since her passing, two of Kiki and Tom's children, Michael and Catherine, have stepped up and are now the 4th generation of the family to run Alioto's Restaurant. Two of Michael's children, Nina and David (Papa John's Great, Great, Grandchildren), continue the legacy as they currently work for the family business.
Aliotos would not be the success it is today without the help of our long time and loyal staff. Our head chef, Patrick Lathon and our butcher, Jimmy Carter have both been with Aliotos for over 40 years. Many of our other kitchen and wait staff have also been with us for a long time, Omar, Rudy, Jeanne, Jill, Todd, Jodi, Sandra, and Cindy have all been with the company for more than 20 years. We would like to thank all of them and the rest of our unbelievable staff for making Alioto's great.
The Warren/Alioto family would also like to thank our loyal customers
for their continued support of Alioto's Restaurant.