Glorioso’s Italian Market

The Glorioso family had successfully run their Italian Market on Milwaukee’s East Side for over 65 years. Their store which was about 3,000 square feet had a great local following. The existing store on Brady Street was a local landmark and the place to go for authentic Italian foods. In 2009, Michael Glorioso, the son of Ted Glorioso, one of the three founding Glorioso brothers, contacted our company regarding moving the grocery store into a nearby building. He asked us to come down and visit the building to determine its viability.

The “new” building was directly across the street from their then current store. The proposed location was built in 1907 and was originally the Astor Theater. Over the years, the building had many varied uses. Eventually, it had been transformed into a pharmacy/diner on the first floor.  The second floor was not part of the original building.  Residential apartments were renovated into the interior of the building at some point in time.  The added second floor meant that the overall square footage for the building was approximately 20,000.

Challenges were numerous. The building was within the city’s historical preservation corridor, so there was extra scrutiny regarding our plans for the space.

Michael’s goal for the project was to create a “wow” moment when the customer entered the space. By removing a portion of the second floor, the ceiling height went from a very low 9 feet, to a spacious 23 feet. As a result, upon entering, it opens into a voluminous space full of Italian sights and smells. At the end of the day, the new store speaks volumes to Michael’s dream and has all the character of the old store and more.  Glorioso’s Italian Market is definitely a destination you should encounter if you’re ever in Milwaukee.

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