WAUKESHA – Dominic Albanese loved life, which included his family, his restaurant and the patrons of Albanese’s Roadhouse, whom he described as “family.” Olbanese died Sunday at the age of 91.
“He’s been in the restaurant business for almost 70 years,” said his daughter, Lori Sieverson.
The family is touched by all the cards, texts and messages from people who remember the patriarch, business owner and friend.
He always wanted the restaurant to be family-friendly and affordable. According to his daughter, he didn’t just want couples for clients.
“He wanted the kids to be able to come for spaghetti and pizza,” she said.
Dominique Albanese’s lifeblood was his family and his restaurant. He would never voluntarily move away from it.
Sieverson remembered that her brother, Joe Albanese, had taken their father and taken him to the restaurant.
“My father prospered there. It was his home, “she said.
His clients loved him very much, she said.
Dominic loved all aspects of his business, including talking to clients or, as he called them, “family.”
Dominic’s business decision was to make sure that in most cases there was a family member to greet the people in the restaurant.
“People came for a personal connection. I don’t even know if they came for food, “Sieverson said.
The secret ingredient to Albanese’s Roadhouse success, she said, is his love of people.
“My father was a man and he loved life. His philosophy was, if you want him, do it, “Sieverson said.
Dominic Albanese was known for the risk that came from his parents.
Joseph Albanese came to the United States from Italy and later married Francis, who is also Italian. They used their family recipes to start a business in 1940 in Milwaukee.
“My father worked for my grandfather when he was 12 and it was always his dream to have his own restaurant,” Sieverson said.
They taught their son the recipes and traditions, Dominic, who took them with his wife, Elaine.
At one point he worked in the private club industry, working for the Western Racket Club and the Bluemound Country Club.
“He was in his 50s when he opened the restaurant (on Bloomound Road) and bet everything on my parents to do it,” she said.
Joe Albanese and Sieverson remembered the hoops their father had to go through to open the restaurant. In the 1980s, the town of Vaukesha had a restriction that prevented a restaurant from being built on the site. Mayor Sean Reilly Bill’s father was a lawyer in Wokesha and represented Dominic. The property has already been purchased and the General Council voted against the amendment proposed by Reilly.
“Mr. Riley would not stop and I found a vague law dating back to 1800 that you can’t build a restaurant on this property, but what you can do is build a road house, “Sieverson said. said. The rest is history.
Sieverson thinks about how many people are not willing to take risks, especially in their older years.
“It was a chance he used,” she said.
The risk was something he instilled in his son Joe and daughter Lori.
While Joe Albanese took over the restaurant, Laurie wanted to move to Minnesota.
“He said he would like me here in Voukesha, but he said he wanted me to be happier than he wanted me here,” she said.
That meant taking a risk.
“He didn’t want me to look back when I was older and to say that I would like to try, “she said.
The best father and mentor
According to his children, Dominic Albanese was not only a great businessman and friend, but also an amazing father. He and his wife were there for their children’s school plays, games and everything important that came up. His son Joe Albanese described him as his best father and best friend.
“Not many children can say they could work side by side with their father for 40 years. That’s the most important thing I value, “Joe said.
There were occasional blows to the head, but not very often.
“I learned from him that you have to be there. The first few years were difficult. I was 18 and all my friends were doing things and working six nights a week. I have to develop with business. We really built it from the beginning, “said Joe.
He remembered the last conversation he had with his father shortly before he died. Dominic asked how the business was going and asked for his bartending license. He asked his son if he could be a bartender with him. They kissed and hugged and told his father at all times.
Both Laurie and Joe pondered their father’s long and loving marriage. Laurie said they were married for 66 years before Elaine died in 2019. Joe added that their father had given their mother a great deal of credit for supporting the family.
“I think my mother was waiting for him. “Maybe he should have waited a few minutes because St. Peter had some questions for him, but she was waiting for him,” said Joe Albanese.
Funeral services include visit Tuesday at Harder Funeral Home, 18700 W. Capitol Drive, 2:00 to 5:15 p.m. with services at 5:30 p.m. Private family funeral at Holy Cross Cemetery.
The Albanese family expresses its sincere gratitude to Chris and her staff in Piazza Avalon for their compassionate care.