In order to form a more perfect Mineral Point, a new restaurant is opening at 20 Commerce Street.
Sean Henninger and Wendy Dueling of Milwaukee are buying the old Chesterfield Inn and putting the wood fired pizza oven back in business.
Their restaurant, which opens in the coming weeks, will be called Popolo Pizzeria. Popolo is Italian for “people.” As Wendy explains, “We called it Popolo because we want the pizza to be for the people. Ovens in Italy were communal for a long time. They became a gathering point for the town folk.”
Sean and Wendy feel like the move to Mineral Point was meant to be. “I had been scoping out the restaurant online for some time when Sean got a call from Lisa (a member of the Mineral Point Economic Development Committee) encouraging him to look at the building. After seeing the town and the building it was an obvious choice. We will live above the restaurant and look forward to fostering new friendships over pizza and drinks.”
Wendy is a licensed teacher and has already received an offer from one of the area’s fine public schools. She will continue her long-standing tradition of splitting her time between education and hospitality.
Sean is a pizza expert. He has been making pizza professionally in Milwaukee for 20 years, and at the Art Institute of Wisconsin’s International Culinary School Sean taught classes on making pizza, chocolates, confections, baking technique, artisanal bread, and European cakes and tortes. So, it’s fair to think of him as a pizza professor.
As Wendy explains, “Sean and I have worked closely for years, and enjoy cooking together. We play off each other’s creativity. We are food geeks; we love writing menus, jotting down drink ideas and planning themed parties. Working together never gets dull.”
Popolo Pizzeria will be a casual dining experience, appealing to locals and visitors alike. The main attraction will be the hand-tossed, wood-fired, New York style pizza. The initial menu consists of seven different pizzas, two pastas, two salads, and several antipasti dishes.
Yes, they are hiring. Send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But wait, there’s more! Later this summer the duo plan to open a shop at 220 Commerce Street (the former Set in Stone). It will be called La Luna Forno which literally means “the night oven.” All of the bread for the bakery will be baked in the pizza oven as it cools for the night. “Pizza bakes at 600-900 degrees. As the oven cools it will be perfect for baking bread. Sean and I are late night people so it makes sense that our bread will bake while we are up chatting. We will sell fresh bread and sandwiches and will include Sean’s handmade Atomic Chocolates.”
You can never have too many places selling chocolate, right?
-Contributed by Lisa Hay