Heard on the Street: Bilotti's is closed for good, but its pizza will live on
While a name known for pizza in Rochester is going away for good, local fans eventually will be able to still get their Bilotti'sfix in Eyota.
The latest incarnation of Bilotti's, at 821 Civic Center Drive NW, closed on Oct. 9. Previously, there was talk of moving it to Eyota, but owner Deb Gustafsonnow is planning to open an unrelated bar and grill and serve pizzas from Bilotti's recipes.
"Bilotti's is closed permanently," she said.
Gustafson hopes to open Mad Jack's Bar and Grill by the start of 2017. Mad Jack's is moving into the ex-Country Curtains and Craftsbuilding at 111 S. Center Ave. in Eyota. It is named after Gustafson's father, Jack Prow, who recently died.
While it won't bear the name of Bilotti's, Gustafson said people with current gift cards and certificates will be able to redeem them at Mad Jack's in Eyota.
It seems this is the end of the story for Bilotti's. It was a downtown Rochester landmark at 304 First Ave. SW for many years. Karla Sperryowned it for about 20 years. She eventually partnered with Steve Lee, who owned Beer Bellyz.
He then opened the Half Barrelin the former Bilotti's location on First Avenue. Bilotti's then moved to the Beer Bellyz spot on Civic Center Drive.
As the business struggled, Deb Gustafson, who owns the Civic Center building, took it over for a while in November 2015. She re-launched it as a Chicago-style, gangster-themed restaurant. Later a "Z" replaced the final "S" in the restaurant's name.
While Mad Jack's is gearing up in Eyota, another project is in the works in the former Bilotti's location on Rochester's Civic Center Drive Northwest.
Gustafson owns the building. Lee is remodeling it with plans to open a new bar and grill plus a liquor store there. Details of that project still are being worked out.