Mr. Pita Brings a Taste of Chicago to This Small Town


If you’re looking for a Chicago-style meal, this downtown business might be just what you need to put that craving to an end.

Roberto Hernandez, the manager of Mr. Pita in Black River Falls, has been managing businesses for over 18 years.

“We pride ourselves in being one of the only restaurants here that offer Chicago-style food,” said Hernandez. “It’s good tasting food at real low prices for our customers.”

Hernandez said that Mr. Pita serves everything from Chicago-style hot dogs to gyros to pizza puffs.

“I think the gyros are something that nobody else has, so that’s pretty cool,” said Laura Lindow, a resident of Black River Falls.

Hernandez said that Mr. Pita also offers Vienna Beef, a brand that’s authentic to Chicago.

Vienna Beef was founded in Chicago in the year 1893 by Emil Reichel and Sam Ladany, and can be found at restaurants in locations like California, Florida and now the small town of Black River Falls.

Vienna Beef produces items such as Chicago-style hot dogs, Polish sausage, Italian beef and various deli meats. The company also operates many food stands that can be found around the busy streets of Chicago.

“Being from Chicago myself, I kind of missed that kind of food,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez said that Mr. Pita took over the building where another restaurant, Cinco De Mayo, used to operate.

“Sharon, who was the owner, didn’t know what else to do with the building,” said Hernandez. “I told her, let’s put in a little restaurant.”

With Cinco De Mayo moving to a new location, Hernandez couldn’t resist the opportunity to open up the Chicago-style restaurant.

“Sure enough, it’s been great,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez said that along with the booming business, Mr. Pita just accepted an award for having the best customer service of the year, given by the Chamber of Commerce.

“We just got the award for best customer service,” said Hernandez. “And we’ve only been open for a year.”

A banquet was held and two businesses were awarded. One was honored for having the best overall business and the other, Mr. Pita, was honored for having the best customer service.

“They have the best customer service in town,” said Lindow. “We don’t go out to eat a lot, but when we do, they’re definitely high on our list.”

Lindow said that, on average, she dines at Mr. Pita once or twice a month.

“Mr. Pita is super good,” said Abby Ross, a senior who attends Black River Falls High School. “I don’t think they’ve gotten enough publicity.”

Hernandez said that they’re looking to expand Mr. Pita into Tomah, Sparta and possibly even La Crosse.

“It’s been good,” said Hernandez. “We’re up for the challenge.”