New Restaurants

Draganetti’s Owners Announce Plans for Homemade Pizza Parlor

Tom Giffey |

Though delicious to the eyes, this is not a picture of pizza from the yet-to-be-built&nbsp;<br>
Though delicious to the eyes, this is not a picture of pizza from the yet-to-be-built eatery, Za51.

Altoona’s River Prairie Development will soon boast a brand new restaurant with some very old roots. The Draganowski family announced over the weekend that they will be opening a new homemade pizza joint – Za51 – later this year in the River Prairie development along U.S. 53 on Altoona’s west side.

The Draganowski siblings – Claudia, John, and Joanne (Palzkill) – already own Draganetti’s and Taverna Grill in the Chippewa Valley. Za51 takes its name from the slang term for pizza (well-known to Scrabble players, if not to the general public) as well as the year (1951) that the Draganowskis’ parents, Kas and Clara, opened their first restaurant. The new establishment, which will be across the street from the new Staybridge Suites, will be a trattoria-style restaurant serving pizza, sandwiches, pasta, and gelato. Molto bene!

“Our hope is that Za51 will be our way to bring all that we’ve learned over the years together thanks to the sacrifices and struggles that our parents initially made beginning in 1951,” Joanne Palzkill said. That was the year Kas and Clara Draganowski opened the Enchanted Inn supper club in Barnes; a decade later, they opened Drag’s Restaurant and Roman Lounge in Rice Lake. (Both are still owned by family members.) In 1981, Joanne, Claudia, and John opened Draganetti’s in Altoona – the moniker was formed by combining their parents’ last names, Draganowski and Micaletti – and in 2009 opened Taverna Grill in Eau Claire.

Look for Za51 to start serving up hot pizza pies later in 2016.