Bartolotta Restaurants prepares former Seven Seas property for a new era

DELAFIELD — Excitement is still simmering at the news that Bartolotta Restaurants will open The Commodore, a fine dining restaurant and elevated dining venue on Lake Nagawicka at the former Seven Seas property.

Owner and co-founder of Bartolotta Restaurants, chef Paul Bartolotta, says the thrill of his job never gets old. He used the examples of great performing artists, athletes and speakers. To stay engaged, you have to be a little worried and nervous. As the restaurateur said, you never go out on a stage or in quiet company.

“You hear these great stories of great performers in the world after a 20-year career in the bathroom throwing up with nerves. At the end of the day, it’s what you live for, it’s that adrenaline that excites you,” Bartolotta said.

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Developed in partnership with David Herro and Jay Franke of HF Hospitality Group, a hotel design and investment group, The Commodore – A Bartolotta Restaurant is set to open next summer with plans to revitalize the historic waterfront property .

“We are in the final design development of the interior and the exterior is undergoing a massive overhaul to preserve it and bring it into the next era of living. It’s going to be spectacular,” Bartolotta said.

Projects such as The Commodore allow the company to stretch, grow and develop. And also, added Bartolotta, to elevate what they do as an organization.

“Basically, Joe (Bartolotta) and I have only had a handful of partners all these years. We’re very proud of the partners we’ve had,” he said.

Bartolotta and her brother visited the Seven Seas property years ago after hearing it might be for sale.

“We looked at it and thought what a beautiful place. But the scale and scope was a bit too ambitious for us. Obviously, with the passing of my brother (Joe) and COVID, I’ve really had to focus on the four walls of my current businesses and making sure I’m doing well with my employees, and then re-engaging with our community. It was an indoor focus at the moment,” he said.

After a while he was approached by David Herro and Jay Franke and after a short meeting he knew they were the right partners. Bartolotta said they understand the scope and scale of what it would take to bring the building back.

Commodore Restaurant – A Bartolotta will be a multi-level destination, with a main level dining room inspired by 1920s yacht clubs, while embracing modern Lake Country.

Over its history, the property has changed hands more than 15 times over the past century, serving as a hotel, nightclub, girls’ camp, and school, among other things. “Everyone has a story about the seven seas. We’ve had people call in the past to book weddings. There is genuine genuine interest,” Bartolotta said.

The location is also a plus as Bartolotta restaurants don’t have restaurants that far west. It’s next to a major highway.

As for the company’s rewards program, many members live in the Lake Country area. There is plenty of surface parking.

“The views, facing the sunset, we know the sunsets will be breathtaking,” Bartolotta said.

A people business

When Bartolotta Restaurants examines its values ​​as a company, it looks after its employees first, Bartolotta said.

“What are we going to do to make it a place where employees want to work? said Bartolotta.

The pandemic, he noted, has been tough on the company.

“I heard about our strict mask policy. I did this because I wanted to protect my employees and my guests. My employees were front line workers and I was worried about them, their families and their health. Not only did I have my employees wear masks, but guests had to put on their masks when a server came to their table,” he said.

He admits it wasn’t fabulous, somewhat strict hospitality.

“But if you understand the motivation behind it, it was my staff wearing masks and using sanitizer to provide a safe place for our guests. I also have an obligation to ensure that my employees are safe as well,” he said.

The purpose of the business is more than just restaurants and eating places, he added. It must be integrated within the community where they operate and its inhabitants.

“We are thrilled to be integrated into the Lake Country community,” Bartolotta said.

For more information on Bartolotta restaurants and their menus, visit

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