New owners plan to restore East Brookside strip center gutted by fire

A longtime East Brookside strip center, heavily damaged in a fire two years ago, has been sold.

The L-shaped neighborhood center, from 6201 to 6213 Oak St. and from 409 to 411 E. 62nd St., was listed for $1.2 million.

Gregg Johnson, founder of Minsky’s Pizza Cafe & Bar, Eggtc. and Osteria Il Centro restaurants, and Brent Wittrock, general manager of Osteria — operating under Pflumm and College Pizza LLC — have purchased the building for an undisclosed price.

They said much work needs to be done on the 1930s-era building before the seven storefronts could be rented or combined into larger units.

“This is a real estate investment for us. We have no comment on potential tenants,” Wittrock said in a statement. “We are in the process of meeting with architects and engineers to restore the building. … We wanted to be part of the East Brookside community. We have no plans to open an Eggtc., Osteria Il Centro or Minsky’s in the space.”

Some retail shops, along with Plate restaurant, had operated in the center. Plate had just finished a renovation and expansion before the April 2017 fire. It plans to reopen nearby in April.

The center’s previous owners wanted to sell it to someone who would restore it instead of tearing it down for a new user. But some prospective buyers thought a restoration would be too expensive.

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