Ciao-ing down: Milano’s Italian Grill joining Vicksburg’s downtown restaurant scene

Published 3:33 pm Thursday, April 20, 2023

A new restaurant, Milano’s Italian Grill, is set to open soon in downtown Vicksburg in the 1300 block of Washington Street across from Key City Brewery and 10 South.

The owner, Ylli Makolli, operates four other Italian restaurants nearby in Louisiana. Makolli said he is excited to bring his business to Vicksburg.

“I think this will be a great spot. We have our neighbors here that run restaurants, 10 South, Rusty’s, Key City,” Makolli said. “We like to be in a community where they share the love with each other. That’s how we are. Basically, each customer that comes in, we try to hug them and treat them like a family because that’s how we like to be treated as well.”

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Makolli was set to open Roma, another Italian restaurant, in downtown Vicksburg in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on those plans.

The building set to house Milano’s is currently being renovated for the opening of the restaurant, and has a lot of history connected to it, said William Wooten, co-owner of the building.

“It went from a bank and then it was offices, lawyers offices, business offices… so it changed quite frequently throughout the decades,” Wooten said.

Makolli immigrated to the United States with his family from Albania and mentioned the connection between Albanian immigrants and Italian food in this country. He said that immigrants from the two countries, which are closely located to each other, ended up developing a somewhat unified community of support.

“We, the Albanian community, when we came to the United States we joined basically the Italians,” he said. “The majority of Italian restaurants in the United States are owned by Albanian people. I would say probably 90 percent.”

Makolli added that the cuisine will certainly be authentic.

“We make fresh bread in the house,” he said. “We make all the lasagnas, all the pastas, all our sauces. It takes four hours to cook our sauces daily.”

The restaurant is currently looking to staff server and bartender positions. Those interested can contact Makolli at 318-547-2033.