With Bambinos closing after 24 years, Nacho’s to rent space ahead of restaurant rebuild

By SuAnne Vannatter

TOMAHAWK – It was Thursday, Nov. 2 as Randy Vannatter was driving to Bambinos to start his day, as he has for the past 10 years, when he saw the ominous cloud of smoke rising from downtown Tomahawk.

The fire sadly destroyed two of our businesses: Andrea Krueger’s Century 21 office and Nacho’s Mexican Grill.

That day also marks the beginning of the end of an era for Bambinos.

Bambinos was started in Dec. 1999 by Mike and Tina Vannatter in the space that Tomahawk Furniture is in currently, and if you called to order pizza, you would hear, “Bambinos – greatest pizza in the world!”

After much success, they relocated the business to its current location at 204 W. Wisconsin Ave. and added gluten-free options. In 2013, they sold Bambinos to Mike’s brother, Randy, and his wife, SuAnne, who carried on the pizza tradition, expanding the all-you-can-eat buffet with a large and fresh salad bar.

In 2020, with the statewide shutdown, Bambinos survived with the already busy delivery service. 

With the reopening and resulting staffing needs, Randy began to consider the option of selling the business. There was no thought another restaurant would one day need space until their building could be rebuilt, but the morning of Nov. 2 changed that.

Andrea Krueger, working without an office, graciously and quickly assisted the two restaurant owners to negotiate an agreement to allow Nacho’s to rent the space.

Pictured are Randy of Bambinos (left) and Nacho of Nacho’s Mexican Grill.

The good news is the food truck will still be available for future local events and pizza catering!

Bambinos’ final day will be Saturday, Dec. 2, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., serving pizza only. Our staff has worked hard with the increased orders from everyone who has wanted their last experience of Bambinos these past three weeks, including some driving up from Illinois.

Once again, Randy and SuAnne, along with Mike and Tina and their families, want to say they are beyond grateful to the community for their loyal patronage, feeling blessed to have offered a family-friendly place to gather, eat and make memories for 24 years.

We have been amazed by the love and response from everyone, confirming Bambinos just may be the greatest pizza in the world!

Pictured, from left: SuAnne, Randy, Mike and Tina Vannatter. Photos courtesy of SuAnne Vannatter.
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