It’s Pizza Time w/ Jake Ziccarelli of Luigi’s Pizza Kitchen in this Exclusive Q&A

It’s Pizza Time w/ Jake Ziccarelli of Luigi’s Pizza Kitchen in this Exclusive Q&A
Visiting Luigi’s is like looking into a piece of history their restaurant has been in the family for over 50 years, and you can feel the love that’s been passed down from generation to generation.
We sat down with third generation owner Jake Ziccarelli to see what’s cooking at Luigi’s

Q. Can tell us a little bit about the history of Luigi’s Pizza Kitchen

A. Luigi’s was started by my grandparents, Luigi & Innocenza Ziccarelli, in 1963. They have three sons, two of them (John and Tony) are still owning and running the restaurant along with me, third generation. John and Tony have been running the restaurant since they were young adults.
Tony was in the military and when he came back he joined the family team and started working side by side with my dad (John) and they ran a great business. I took over the day-to-day operations about ten years ago. My Uncle Tony and father John are both semi- retired now, but still pop in from time to time.

Q. What made you want to get into the family business?
A. Luigi’s is a staple in Kenosha history, so I wanted to keep the family business moving along, we hope to keep it up and running for many more generations.

Q. What do you attribute to the success of Luigi’s?
A. We are just trying to stay on the right track with the original recipes and great service my grandparents specialized in.

Q. What makes Luigi’s stand out from all the other Italian restaurants?
A. Kenosha does have a lot of really great family Italian restaurants, but what makes Luigi’s stand out is the family feel atmosphere. Our homemade food and the rich history my family has brought to the restaurant.

Q. Any chance you’ll tell our readers the secret family recipe that makes your food so good?
A. It’s just lots of love in the preparation of our product.

Q. You offer much more than pizza? There’s pasta, fish, mojo, and your famous fried chicken. Do you have a personal favorite?
A. That’s a hard one, I’ve always been a big pizza guy, even though I don’t eat cheese any more. Pizza was my main food group for many many years.

Q. Do you have any current specials to let your customers know about?
A. We are now open for lunch which is new -we have never done that in the last 54 years of being open.
Our lunch specials are $10 bomber and fries which is pretty big meal, and then we got medium pizzas for $10 from 11am to 2 pm,
Once remote schooling starts, we are going to some new specials for the kids that are at home so the parents get a little bit of break. Starting on September 1st, we will have 8-inch pizzas for $5. Keep an eye on our ads in Happenings Magazine for our up-to-date specials.

Q. Can you tell us about your famous mojos?
A.It’s a family recipe, I cant talk too much more about it.

Q. Do you offer gluten-free options?
A. Yes, we currently do have a gluten-free crust and we’re trying different pasta options trying to see what works.

Q. What are some odd pizza requests you have received over the years?
A. Nothing too crazy, some customers request no sauce and no olive oil on the crust. They just want their topping put right on it, it seems much too dry for my tastes.

Q. Have you ever been to Italy?
A. I have not but, all our family have been born there up to my generation.

Q. If you could be a superhero which one would you be and why?
A. Batman, he’s just a regular guy with lots of money and can make things happen if he wants to.


What local restaurant (besides your own) always gives you a great meal?
A. I do frequently visit almost all of the locally owned places in town, I’m big on Mason’s Eatery & Pub lately, Johnny’Z Pour house is up there & Sazzy B all these places I love stoping in at. I stop in to my competition almost once a month, I have to make sure that I’m still trying to stay on top of the game.

Q. What is your favorite hobby?
A. I am definitely into sports I love watching and playing sports.

Q. Who do you look up to professionally?
A. Not sure if I really look up to anyone, but the main guy I’ve been listening to lately is Joe Rogan.

Q. What is your favorite vacation spot?
A. My family always does an annual trip up north and I really enjoy that, no place specifically, but we do a lot of tubing, fishing, and spend a lot of quality family time together.

Q. What is your favorite sports team?
A. The Packers

Q. If you had one piece of advice for someone looking to open a small business, what would it be?
A. Other than don’t? lol.
Just make sure you stay true to yourself. Many people out there will try to push you in one direction or the other — you’re going to have haters and fans. Just have a goal in mind and stick to it.

Q. What is next for Luigi’s?
A. I have many goals in mind. I’m trying to move in the right direction during COVID-19, right now our dining room is closed, but we are looking at some upgrades to that when the time comes.

Q. Does pineapple belong on a pizza?
A. It sure does! With some hot peppers and bacon, its real good and you got to try it!

Luigi’s Pizza Kitchen
7531 – 39th Ave. Kenosha, WI
Check out Luigi’s menu & order online by – Clicking here Luigispizzakenosha
Facebook –  Luigi’s


Interview & photos by Donny Stancato
(Photos taken pre covid -19)
Edited by Jason Hedman