Four years ago, Talossans were shocked by the news that famed local restaurant Grecian Delight had burned down.  Long a favourite meeting spot for gyros-gobbling Talossans, Grecian Delight was the site of several TalossaFest and Immigration Day gatherings over the years, as well as the convention that drafted the 1997 Organic Law and the swearing-in of Seneschal Gödafrïeu Válcadác’h in 2002.  The restaurant burned down in a fire on 19 January 2010, determined to be the result of arson.  Its loss was commemorated in Talossan law by 41RZ1, The Grecian Delight Remembrance Day Act.
But Grecian Delight was not the only victim of the fire.  Three other businesses along the 1800 block of North Avenue in Benito Province (just across the street from Florencia) were also claimed by the blaze.  Pizza Man was one of the others.  Established in 1970, Pizza Man quickly found a niche as the only  pizzeria that would stay open late enough to serve the party and stoner crows of the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin (later University of Talossa), and later gained renown for its extensive wine list (600 bottles by the time of the fire).  Its Milwaukee-style pizza had an avid following among East Siders, including some Talossan Old Growthers.  Ieremiac'h Ventrutx, then a mere prospective citizen, recalls being taken there with his wife by King Robert I in 1996 to discuss the Cosa opposition to Ventrutx's citizenship (finally granted on the third try in early 1997).  Ian Metairia and Wes Erni also came by to meet him.
It seemed like the arson case had been solved when Feras Rahman was indicted by U.S. authorities May 2011.  Rahman was the owner of the Black and White Café, also lost in the fire, and prosecutors alleged that he started the fire – fueled by gasoline and lit near the Black and White's restrooms in the back of the building – to collect the insurance money.  But Rahman's defence argued that the owner of Grecian Delight, Andreas Karabelas, had a stronger motive to start the fire, with a larger insurance policy and a business allegedly on the brink of bankruptcy, and could have accessed Black and White's restrooms through a door connecting the two restaurants' basements.  In May 2012, a Cestour jury at the U.S. courthouse in Fiova Province acquitted Rahman of the arson charges, but convicted him of lying to investigators about a computer supposedly lost in the fire but later found at Rahman's home.  In March 2013, the judge sentenced him to   2½ years in prison on the false statement conviction.  In determining a sentence, the judge concluded that while the prosecution may not have proved Rahman guilty of the arson beyond a reasonable doubt, his responsibility for the fire was still supported by clear and convincing evidence, and his accusations against Karabelas were not credible.  Rahman has appealed the sentence.
While Grecian Delight remains but a memory, Pizza Man has now risen from the ashes like a silver phoenix.  Although he had initially stated that Pizza Man was gone for good, owner Mike Amidzich announced in 2012 that he planned to reopen in a new location on Downer Avenue in Vuode Province.  Former Vuode Premier and current Milwaukee alderman Nick Kovac announced his “full support” of the plan, calling it “a very creative re-use of a historic building.”  The restaurant reopened last summer, with four times the seating capacity of the original location.  But despite the extra space, loyal throngs of hungry Cestours still pack the house almost every night.  B


Post a Comment

Beric'ht Talossan is a registered corporation under Talossan law and an official Supporter of Talossa.
Copyright © 2015 Beric'ht Talossan, All rights reserved.