LIBORIO ("BOBBY") ZAFFIRO and his younger brother John grew up on Milwaukee's East Side. Their father was an immigrant
In 1951, Bobby opened the Rock-a-Bye Tap in Milwaukee's then predominantly Italian Third Ward district, located at Buffalo & Jackson Streets. His brother John worked for him. When many bars and eating establishments in Milwaukee started serving pizza at that time, Bobby began offering pizza, too.
In 1954, Bobby opened Zaffiro's Restaurant at 1724 North Farwell Avenue - its present location. At that time the restaurant had only a few tables and a service bar.
In 1970, Bobby acquired the barber shop next door to the restaurant, adding to the establishment a dining room and a full bar. The specialty of the house was Bobby's thin-crust pizza, which Zaffiro's is known for today. The sauce for the pasta dishes was Bobby's wife Rose's family's recipe. Bobby was the more extroverted brother, who worked the front of the restaurant. Customers loved being entertained by Bobby. He was a "natural" behind the bar - often breaking into song and joke.
John Zaffiro made pizza for the restaurant until his retirement in 1988. Bobby Zaffiro died the following year -- after which, Bobby's wife, Rose, and two sons, Michael and Joseph, took over the business. In 2006, John Zaffiro passed away. Presently, Zaffiro's is owned by Michael and his wife, Rose.
Zaffiro's Pizza is famous for its thin-crust pizza, Italian dishes and neighborhood bar atmosphere, serving five generations of families. In local surveys, Zaffiro's continues to rank among Milwaukee's most popular spots for pizza. From celebrities to sports figures to politicians, you never know who you'll see at Zaffiro's!