‘It’s a shame’: Paisan’s moving after landlord doesn’t pay bills, restaurant says

MADISON, Wis. — A popular downtown restaurant is temporarily closing after its landlord did not pay its bills.

According to its Facebook page, Paisan’s Restaurant is moving its staff and operations to its sister restaurant at Porta Bella.

Porta Bella is located at 425 North Frances Street.

“Our landlords, EMI and Greg Rice have all let us down by not making the repairs or keeping our building in a condition that we could occupy it, despite having a lease that could run through 2045!” the post said.

The building that houses Paisan’s, 131 West Wilson Street, was evacuated in December for the second time in four months due to structural concerns.

After those evacuations, Paisan’s owner Wally Borowski said the City of Madison said it would only allow the building to reopen if the landlord paid for a third party to regularly inspect the building.

“It’s a shame,” Borowski told News 3 Now on Sunday night. “It’s a beautiful space. We put in a lot of work to make it that way, and a lot of people put in a lot of effort in doing that, and to be shutout because our landlord and his company won’t pay the bills and the city won’t let the building be occupied.”

When asked what’s next for Paisan’s, Borowski said they are looking into several potential locations, but any move will be costly and time consuming. However, he says it’s “very unlikely” the restaurant reoccupies the space at 131 West Wilson Street in the future.

“So to put Paisan’s into a box and serve food out of it isn’t exactly what we would like to do,” Borowski said. “We’d like to have a restaurant people want to go into, not just for service and food, but because it’s a place we’re going to enjoy being in.”