Owner of property housing Paisan’s restaurant submits notice to tear down building

Building has been plagued with structural issues, leading to multiple shutdowns

MADISON, Wis. — The owner of the property housing Paisan’s Italian Restaurant in downtown Madison has submitted a notice of intent to tear down the building, a city official confirmed Friday.

In an email to News 3 Now, Matt Tucker, the director of the city’s building inspections division, said the notice of intent to demolish the 12-story building at 131 West Wilson Street is the first step toward earning city approval for the proposal. It is not guaranteed to lead to the building’s demolition, he added.

The building has been plagued with structural issues that have led it to be shuttered multiple times in recent months. Temporary supports are in place to keep the building safe.

RELATED: A draining waiting game: Paisan’s owner speaks out after second evacuation in several months

Major concerns about the property date back several years, including crumbling concrete and support in the underground parking garage.

The back-and-forth led Paisan’s to temporarily close earlier this year and move operations to a sister restaurant.

Wally Borowski, the restaurant’s owner, said in a text message to News 3 Now that he believes the landlord is trying to make it difficult for Paisan’s to keep its doors open.

“(W)ithin the last 3 weeks we’ve been able to hire four or five people (and) hiring people is a difficult thing at best but when people don’t know if the building is going to be torn down because of the shenanigans your landlord is playing (it) makes it even more difficult,” he wrote.

Tucker said the building’s owner hopes to file documents in time for the city’s Plan Commission to make a decision by late June.