Rosati’s Pizza’s route to Sun Prairie started in Italy, made a home in Chicago, and then took a right turn to Wisconsin.

The husband and wife team of Jim and Brandy Davis will open the Sun Prairie Rosati’s Pizza franchise this month.

Customers will soon get a peek into the Italian roots of the modern restaurant with photo murals of the Rosati family, red and white checked tablecloths on the table, and a menu of Italian beef sandwiches, antipasti, tiramisu, and the signature pizzas.

“The food is really steeped in that Italian tradition of Chicago,” Brandy said. “It’s the spices in the sauce—a very special recipe that is unique to Rosati’s.”

Italian immigrant Fernando Rosati opened up a restaurant in New York in the late 1890s, featuring the food of his homeland. When the family moved to Chicago, son Sam started a restaurant serving customers eager to try the popular appetizer of tomato sauce on crispy bread.

When Sam retired, his sons opened Rosati’s Pizza in the Chicago suburbs in 1964, which grew into the franchise that’s still family-owned today.

The pizza chain specializes in deep-dish, thin-crust, double dough and stuffed crust pizzas.

Jim Davis, a 1985 Sun Prairie High School grad, uses just one word to describe the Rosati’s Chicago deep-dish pizza: yummy.

Specialty pizzas range from traditional with red sauce and sausage, to a white pizza with ricotta, garlic, tomatoes and sautéed spinach.

Rosati’s pizza makers concentrate on maximizing taste for customers, according to Brandy.

“We want to make sure that customers are getting all the toppings in every bite,” she said. “We really make an effort for that enjoyment of taste.”

Sun Prairie’s menu has a strong showing of both Italian and Chicago traditions with Italian beef, meatball parmigiana, Chicago-style hot dogs, calzones, cannoli and tiramisu.

Fresh made-to-order salads include an antipasto, Caesar and Greek. There are also wings that Jim says are phenomenal. Pasta is expected on the menu by January.

Rosati’s offers New Glarus Spotted Cow, Miller Lite and Pseudo Sue, a citrusy IPA, on tap, along with micro craft bottles and red and white wines.

With Jim’s 23 years with another big-name pizza chain and Brandy’s information technology and business consultant experience, the couple focused on Sun Prairie, Jim’s hometown, when they decided to open a restaurant.

The couple settled on the family-owned Rosati’s franchise, which had eyed the former Day One Pizza spot at 355 E. Linnerud Drive, and soon their restaurant ownership goal was materializing.

“It’s not just like you are buying a franchise and you are out on your own,” Brandy said. “Rosati’s is very family-oriented and they support you.”

Rosati’s has locations across the United States and a handful in Wisconsin. Franchisees are trained at Rosati’s U.

With the addition of big-screen TVs, the couple settled on a modern Chicago-Italian decor for the Sun Prairie location that welcomes families, sports fans and pizza lovers.

“We’ve tried to make this place comfortable,” Brandy said. “Where people could enjoy eating a pizza, having a drink, watching TV and enjoying time with family and friends.”

Rosati’s offers delivery and hopes to attract the lunch crowd with slice and soda combos.

As downtown Sun Prairie continues to be a destination for visitors and locals to shop and eat, Brandy expects Rosati’s to fit right in.

“Jim grew up in Sun Prairie, so it’s almost like a full circle because he is coming home to serve the community that he grew up in,” Brandy said. “And with downtown Sun Prairie growing and thriving, it’s pretty exciting to be a part of it.”

Rosati’s Pizza is located at 355 E. Linnerud Dr. in downtown Sun Prairie. Visit https://myrosatis.com/sun-prairie/ or the restaurant’s Facebook page for more information.

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