By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Dec 05, 2023 at 1:31 PM

After a successful 20 years in the Village of Wauwatosa, Firefly Tosa, 7754 Harwood Ave., will be closing its doors after service on Saturday, Dec. 23.

Sibling owners Marija and Vesna Madunic note that they had hoped to continue Firefly for decades to come. Unfortunately, the property owner has alternate plans for the building and has denied the option for a renewed long-term lease.

“Our greatest joy has been hosting so many celebrations in the space we built to do just that, to gather, laugh, love — and eat and drink of course!” noted Marija Madunic in an announcement about the closing.

“To all our guests who chose Firefly for their special moments, big and small, and the support of the Wauwatosa community and beyond, we are so grateful. To our dedicated staff, some of whom have been with us for over a decade, we thank you sincerely."

Long known for its memorable aesthetic along with beautifully prepared dishes, Firefly Tosa has graciously served the Wauwatosa community for two decades, first as Bjonda (2003) and then as Firefly (rebranded in 2007). Along the way, the venue garnered a variety of honors that speak to the experiences the Madunics created for guests, including “Best Décor in Wisconsin” and “Exceptional Dining Experience” from Chicago Zagat.

While they do not have current plans to reopen Firefly in another location, the Madunics do not view the closing as an ending. Rather, they look forward to furthering the philosophy on which Firefly was built through their Gracious Events, Catering & Event Design business, which will continue to operate in Wauwatosa.

“What we built here in the Village can’t be easily recreated,” said Madunic. “The number of celebrations that took place at Firefly were our greatest reward. That’s at the heart of our business, and it will continue on through Gracious.”

Guests are invited to pay a visit to the restaurant and celebrate its role in the community through Saturday, Dec. 23. Reservations can be made online.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.