Good news for Madisonians who miss Luigi's Diner: It's returning.
Luigi's, a Food Fight restaurant that from 1997 to 2004 served fun Italian food at the corner of Main and King Streets (currently the Tipsy Cow), is being revived by Bill and Melanie Horzuesky, chef and co-proprietors of Bluephies Restaurant. Luigi's new location is 515. S. Midvale, near the Midvale Plaza Shopping Center. Why bring back Luigi's, gone now for seven years?
"We always loved that restaurant," says Bill Horzuesky. "The food, the vibe, the energy." He started early on at Luigi's as its chef; his wife, Melanie, was there from the beginning as a server, moving up to general manager. They always thought that if they could "find the right spot in the right neighborhood," they'd like to bring Luigi's back. The Midvale site suited the couple's requirements: "We kept coming back to, this feels right," says the chef.
While part of the old Luigi's atmosphere came from its historic building and quirky triangle shape, some of the feeling should come back in Luigi's 2.0, despite its being brand new construction (the walls started going up this week). The interior designer of the original, Ed Linville, is the architect and designer of the new model as well. And while Bill wants to update the menu, fans can expect a return of the thin-crusted pizza: pepperoni, margherita and "the original chicken." Baked pastas are planned. And the outstanding bread will be back.
Plans are currently for a mid-September opening.