MILWAUKEE - Maria's Pizza, a Milwaukee staple, closed Sunday, June 26 after 65 years in business. The line to get that last slice of pizza wrapped around the corner, some people waiting for three hours.
Between the phone calls and the cooks in the kitchen, Maria's Pizza was running hot on Sunday. The owners reflected on their decades in business.
"We’ve been working very, very hard," said Bonnie Maria, owner. "We loved it, but right now, I want to just rest."
After 65 years in business, but with little staff and a need for rest, the owners prepared to hang up their aprons Sunday but not before receiving a massive slice of love from their customers.
The line told the story.
"I couldn’t even sleep last night," said Maria. "Oh, my God. People all over."
"I got here at 2:30, so I’ve been here about 2.5 hours," said Bill Rutherford.
"We brought our sandwiches, our chairs and our beers, and we are ready to sit and wait," said Luisiano Velez.
Long-time customers said they don't know life without Maria's Pizza.
"A long time," said Velez. "Since I was about 6 years old."
"I’ve been coming to Maria’s Pizza for 49 years," said Rutherford.
It's a staple these cheeseheads said they're sad to see go. Thanks to the show out, Maria's Pizza sold out two hours before they were set to close Sunday.
"It floored me, you know, but I love it," said Bonnie Maria. "I’ll always love it."
As for what's next, that's a recipe under development, but for now, the owners are sticking to their secret ingredient, a love for serving the community.
"I’d say thank you," said Maria Story, owner.
The owners said they do hope to pass on the recipe to someone who will keep it the same. That's still in the works.