James Letizia has been a Milwaukee-based entrepreneur for more than 35 years.
He started with car dealerships, creating the Diamond Jim’s brand, and broadened his portfolio in 2001 with his first restaurant in Hales Corners.
A little over a year and a half ago, Letizia purchased the building on the corner of 68th Street and Forest Home Avenue and remodeled every square inch of the facility. Opening its doors as the Tower Restaurant & Bar in February, the newest addition to Diamond Jim’s restaurant group offers nearly every amenity a customer may seek.
“We serve several distinct markets all under the same roof," Tower general manager Joseph LaCroix said. "There is a sports bar, a classy, yet casual sit-down dining room, catering hall and outside patio area.”
Upon entering the restaurant, guests are greeted by a large bar area that features a pool table, arcade games, internet jukebox and a display Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Customers are invited to belly up to the bar or to scatter throughout the room at the high-top tables to view one of the many flat screen plasma televisions.
Through the entryway, an expansive dining room hosts its own distinct characteristics including crystal chandeliers and a fireplace with lounge chairs. VIP-esque cove seating outlines the room for guests who wish to celebrate their special occasions with a little more privacy.
Downstairs, the banquet hall can seat 220 people, making it an option for family reunions, corporate luncheons or even local hobbyists' weekly meetings. The restaurant’s head chef can accommodate any type of preferred menu for the hall and will work with guests to help determine the best way to celebrate.
“We offer sit-down dinners, buffet style, stations, appetizers, you name it, for parties that want to utilize our beautiful ballroom,” LaCroix said.
The menu boasts “homemade classics with a twist,” according to LaCroix.
“We hope to differentiate ourselves from the corporate chains in this neighborhood with our commitment to quality and the one-of-a-kind nature of our atmosphere," LaCroix added. "Everything is made fresh on site by our chef, Brian Johnson.”
Each night of the week, in addition to the normal menu, the chef features several specials. Tuesday is Mexican, Wednesday is all-you-can-eat crab legs, Thursday is Italian and Friday features a classic fish fry. On Saturdays, the chef roasts prime rib, and Sunday is dedicated to a brunch buffet.
Most entrees range between $8.95-13.95.
“What distinguishes us is the versatile nature of our facility and our menu,” LaCroix said. “We do offer reasonable drink and food specials that everyone can afford and enjoy, but we also have a high-end selection for those looking to celebrate or share a special evening. We hope guests see us as a viable alternative to downtown dining.”