Mama Mia's: A Matter of Economics

Simple income and outgo didn't add up for restaurant, which says it would do things differently if there's a next time.

Muskego Patch had the chance to talk with owner Jodine Paulsen, who was grateful for the opportunity to wish her customers well and clarify why the otherwise popular family Italian restaurant did not fare so well in Muskego.

"Really, it came down to us taking on a lot of obligations when we took over the restaurant about a year or so ago, and we just couldn't overcome that," Paulsen said.

She said that in retrospect the decision to keep the same name may have been ill-advised, as she felt previous patrons did not have a good association with the restaurant. Despite rehiring and retraining staff, Paulsen said it was hard to rebuild a reputation after that.

She was quick to thank Muskego and loyal patrons who also connected with Patch on Facebook and emails to ask why the restaurant, which was an anchor of the Muskego Centre mall on Racine Avenue and Janesville Road, was no longer in business.

"The people we had come in loved us, and were just the greatest, but we'd be really slow after 7 p.m. on weekends, and you just can't survive on that," Paulsen said.

She also discounted the idea that the location in the mall was entirely to blame. Previously Beef O'Brady's had operated for about five years, but also closed a few years ago. They still operate a restaurant in Pewaukee.

The restaurant closed Sunday May 19, and Paulsen said it was emotional for everyone. She thought should Mama Mia's, which also has restaurants in West Allis and Wales, could return sometime in the future, but said that they may operate under a different name.

Denise Konkol June 01, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Apparently that was a theme the new management heard, but couldn't overcome even as changes were made.
KC June 01, 2012 at 06:47 PM
We only went there a couple of times when they first opened. Honestly, the food seemed a bit generic. My mother-in-law ordered chicken parmesan, and it was made with frozen chicken patties. I think a lack of quality ingredients really hindered them...
Concerned Citizen June 01, 2012 at 07:21 PM
REally?? Wow - I loved Mama Mia's! That bread? To die for! This makes me sad....
Denise Konkol June 01, 2012 at 11:35 PM
CC- I'd agree. The bread was amazing. Definitely signature.
Kammy June 02, 2012 at 12:09 PM
We went their once, found the food just ok and the garlic bread just ok, too. We never cared to go back. The original people who ran the place really made a good attempt to market the place but the next gal never did. It is always sad to see a business fail in Muskego but this restaurant relied on the Mama Mia name and didn't follow through with food quality or service.


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