Roberto's Names A.J. ''Toche'' Terrones Business Of The Year

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January 12, 2017
     ELMHURST, Ill., January 10, 2017 – Roberto’s Ristorante & Pizzeria will receive the A.J. “Toche” Terrones Business of the Year Award for 2016 at the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s 98th Annual Awards Gala held at The Drake Oak Brook Hotel in Oak Brook on Friday, January 27, from 5 to 9 p.m.

     Roberto’s Ristorante & Pizzeria is a family-owned business that has operated in the Spring Road Business District since 1962.

     The annual award is given based on a member’s contributions to the Chamber’s success, to the betterment of both the business community and Elmhurst community, and impact in their field of business, each in the given year and historically, along with years in business and years as a Chamber member.

     “Roberto’s Ristorante & Pizzeria has served the Spring Road Business District as a traffic-generating anchor for the past 55 years,” said John R. Quigley, the Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since 1999, “while progressing from one family’s take-out pizzeria to another family’s award-winning Italian restaurant.”

     A Chamber member since 1991, Roberto’s has been owned and operated by the Moreci family—starting with father Vito and today by his son and daughter,  Pasquale and Rosalia—since 1985, when the founding couple (Roberto and Aurora Pagano) put up their carry-out-only pizzeria for sale.

     Vito Moreci, who started out in the construction before becoming a restauranteur, transformed Roberto’s into a fine-dining restaurant with table and bar seating for eat-in customers, featuring rooms with food service catering to special events and an outdoor patio on the south side overlooking the 9-11 Memorial, Gazebo and Illinois Prairie Path.

     The restaurant’s iconic turret-style entryway—formerly the entrance to a corner liquor store—was pictured on the cover of the Chamber’s 2001 Elmhurst Community Directory.

     In recent years, the Moreci family has purchased several Spring Road properties for either redevelopment or repurposing, attracting new businesses to Elmhurst as tenants.

     The award presentation will be made by Outgoing Chairman of the Board of Directors Tim Gurrie of Pampered Chef TLG and Quigley.  Joining them in the award presentation will be representatives of Café Amano, the 2015 Business of the Year recipient.  Café Amano will receive an acrylic Business of the Year plaque to put on display at its downtown Elmhurst restaurant.

     The annual award, which features a traveling trophy and permanent plaque, is named in memory of A.J. “Toche” Terrones, who served as Chamber President for nearly a decade until his death in July of 1999.

     Other Business of the Year honorees are West Suburban Office Products (2014), Community Bank of Elmhurst (2013 and 1999), York Furrier (2012), Elmhurst Memorial Healthcare (2011), OEC Business Interiors (2010), Harris Elmhurst (2009), Diplomat West (2008), Suburban Bank & Trust Co. (2007), Larry Roesch Chrysler Jeep Dodge (2006), York Theatre (2005), Synergistic Networks, Inc. (2004), Silverado Grill (2003), Great American Exteriors (2002), Cardinal Cartridge, Inc. (2001) and Unique Travel Service, Ltd. (2000).

     The traveling trophy of imported 24% German lead crystal atop a mahogany wood base will be displayed at Café Amano’s downtown Elmhurst location until the Chamber’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner, while an award plaque with a nameplate listing Café Amano is on permanent display at the Chamber office.

     Established in 1918, the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry is a voluntary organization of business and professional men and women who have joined together to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community.

     The Chamber’s mission is to promote an environment that creates success for local businesses and our community.

     The Chamber also serves the needs of its members through services, programs and events that provide opportunities for networking and referral, business education, development and promotion, governmental representation and community involvement.