Mediterranean eatery pitched for former Ruggeri’s Market

Restauranteur Llazar Konda stands before his former restaurant, Meli in downtown Waukesha, during 2015 with his wife, Alyssa. Konda has applied for a conditional use permit to open a Mediterranean eatery in downtown Pewaukee.


PEWAUKEE — Beachgoers and residents could soon have another spot for dining in downtown Pewaukee.

According to village documents, restaurateur Llazar Konda has submitted a conditional use permit to turn the former Ruggeri’s Italian Market at 161 Wisconsin Ave. into a Mediterranean eatery.

Dubbed the Beach House Bistro, Konda’s restaurant would seat about 40 people inside, and about 20 people outdoors.

The business would be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. six days per week, and if permitted would have unamplified acoustic guitar music in the outdoor seating area a few times a month.

Konda was last known for his restaurant Meli in downtown Waukesha, which served American and Mediterranean food.

Meli, which means honey in Greek, opened on Main Street near the Five Points in June 2015, closing close to four years later in May 2019.

Attempts to speak with Konda were unsuccessful on Tuesday, but his conditional use application is slated to go before the Plan Commission on Thursday evening.

Ruggeri’s, which closed in May, offered packaged Italian foods, homemade pastas and other dishes, and some Italian desserts. The business had operated as a bakery for about 15 years when well-known restaurateur Andy Ruggeri took it over in April 2019.

Ruggeri, who owned and operated Ruggeri’s Ristorante in Delafield from 2001-08, maintained the bakery business until May of last year when he decided to transition to a more deli-style business as way to keep the business open in the face of the pandemic.