through the years...
Alvin P. Fernandez and his fellow Chicago-neighborhood friend, Anthony J. Barbiere got together in 1954 and opened the first Mama Mia’s. They were only 21 and 28 years old, respectively.
Al’s dad, Joseph (on the left), cashed in his life insurance policy to loan the two partners $1,000 to support their dream. Through determination and persistence the two found a landlord on 49th and North Avenue willing to give them three months of free rent in hopes that they would make enough to be in business a fourth month.
Pizza was very new to Milwaukee, as they were only the third pizzeria in the city. 60 years later, everyone’s hopes had been surpassed. This original location was closed in 1963 in order for them to focus their efforts and time on the new locations.
The West Allis and Brookfield locations are the only restaurants still owned and operated by our family today.
Our signature garlic bread, original recipes from 1954, and award-winning pizza have been a Milwaukee area tradition for over 60 years.