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Pepino's Pizzaria and Marcelino's Pizzeria & Grill

Restaurateur Papia denies reports of selling Sally's Meat 'N Place - Prospective buyer says he's negotiating, but nothing has been signed yet

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Wednesday, July 1, 1998
Author: DENNIS R. GETTO, Journal Sentinel restaurant critic

Reports of Sally Papia's entrepreneurial demise were greatly exaggerated, the Stone Bank restaurateur said Tuesday.

"I'm here and I'm very much involved in the restaurant ," Papia said.

Last week, a Waukesha County newspaper reported that Papia was selling her restaurant , Sally's Meat 'N Place in Stone Bank, to Joseph Armeli, who owns Pepino's restaurants in Brookfield, Menomonee Falls, Oconomowoc and Sussex . Armeli confirmed that he was negotiating to buy the Meat 'N Place, but added that "the deal isn't done yet. Nothing's been signed."

The report followed a request to the Town of Merton earlier this month that the liquor license for the restaurant , which is held by Sally Papia's sister, Jean Blinkewitz, be transferred to Armeli, town officials said.

The transfer was approved, provided that the current license, which expired Tuesday, be surrendered. Papia said Tuesday that her sister would renew the license and that Papia would retain ownership of the restaurant for the time being.

Papia explained that chronic back problems had prompted her to consider selling the Meat 'N Place and to request the license transfer.

"I've been in the hospital five times in the past year," she said. Doctors told her that she had a separated disc and some bone disintegration, Papia said. "If I work more than eight hours, it starts hurting and it's terribly painful."

Doctors have recommended surgery, Papia added, but she worries about what would happen to the restaurant if she weren't there.

"I'm a workaholic," she said. "And I love working with food."

Papia purchased the Meat 'N Place and opened it with her name attached to the title in October 1994. The restaurant has become popular, with long waits for tables on weekends.

She previously had owned Sally's Steakhouse, a popular restaurant in the Knickerbocker on the Lake Hotel in Milwaukee. That space is now occupied by the Italian restaurant Osteria del Mondo.

Papia spent time in prison in 1975 for extortion and again in 1991 for making illegal payments to a union so it would not organize her employees. She lost her popular downtown restaurant in a much-publicized court fight with her daughter, Candy.

Family pizza recipe brought to Sussex

Marcelino's Pizzeria & Grill offers something different new owner said

Village of Sussex - When Marvin King made his rounds in the Sussex and Menomonee Falls area as a Time Warner serviceman, one thing he said put a damper on his day was the lack of places to have lunch. To remedy that situation, Kind decided to open his own restaurant in Sussex. On Tuesday, King marked his first week in business at Marcelino's Pizzeria & Grill, W24370 Main St.

"There's nowhere to eat out here. I said to myself, there could be a pizza place," Kind said, noting that there is a variety of bars in the area that serve food, but he can't go to a bar while at work. King said he would stop by the Italian eatery that once inhabited his location, but he said they were often closed. "They'd be open one day and closed the next," he recalled.

So when the restaurant shut its doors for good, King decided to open Marcelino's and give things a try. He said he inherited a slew of problems the former owners left behind at the building. So even though the village approved his permits early last year, he spent until early this year working to get things in order. However, he's up and running and said, so far, the community has been receptive.

"I'm very optimistic. I'm hoping people will welcome me to the community with open arms," King said, adding that his experience working with the village was "fantastic."

King is mixing up his family's secret sauce and special cheese recipe that comes from the former pizza restaurant his parents ran in Milwaukee. King grew up in the restaurant business and said it's something he loves. "I love to cook and I love to see people eat good food and smile," King said.

Marcelino's offers more than just pizza. King said while pizza is the menu's "centerpiece," you can also order special sandwiches. The restaurant will soon have lasagna and fresh carved roast beef. "I want to bring a variety in and see how it goes," he said.

While the economy is still sluggish, King said he sees things moving in the right direction.

"It is tough to get loans, but you have to get out and work. You can't sit around and say 'woe is me.' You have to give it a try.

"I figured this is an opportunity for myself, this community, and I can employ people and help the community in that way," King said.

Beyond adding variety to Sussex's restaurants, King, a Brown Deer native, said he enjoys the community.

"Sussex is a beautiful place. It's growing and there are good people here; that's why I thought it would be a good place to be. We bring good food, a good atmosphere, and I do want to get involved in this community," King said.


Marcileno’s Pizzeria & Grill Opens on Main Street After Months of Issues

The new pizza joint is filling the space where Pepino’s once was.

Marvin King, the owner, poses with a pizza spatula in the kitchen.
After 10 grueling months of preparations, Marcileno’s Pizzeria & Grill opened Monday for its first round of customers ready to take a bite out of Sussex’s newest pizza.

Located at N64W24370 Main St., the restaurant is filling the space where Pepino’s Pizza once was. It was reported the restaurant was slated to open in May; however, owner Marvin King said the previous tenant's missteps created the delay.

“On the inside of the building, there was so many things that weren’t checked when the previous renter was here,” said King. “Inspectors come by every four to six years to look at the building. When the previous owner went out of business, there were a lot of violations already in place, so I assumed those violations when I bought it.”

With everything finally in order, King debuted a menu featuring not just pizza but also fried calamari, buffalo wings, Philly steaks and grinders.

An Experienced Cook

In addition to an expansive menu, King brings his pizza expertise. After working for three pizza restaurants and owning one more, opening Marcileno’s is just another adventure.

“I worked for Domino's, Pizza Hut and Little Caesar’s, and I always thought of the things I’d do if I opened my own pizza restaurant,” said King. “So I took the experiences from each one of those locations and just always wanted to do my own thing.”

As reported in March when King was seeking approval from Sussex to open the restaurant, this will be his second pizzeria venture. King operated Papa King’s restaurant at 107th Street and Granville Road in Milwaukee for about a year before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The resulting economic decline forced him to shut down the restaurant, but King said he is looking forward a new venture in Sussex.

“Our food is prepared fresh,” King said. “We have all fresh ingredients: sausage, onions, green peppers, peperoni, the cheese — everything is made to order, and nothing’s sitting around in a warmer. I like to see people happy, and pizza makes people happy if it’s good.”




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