Business is a family affair at Spizzico

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Rocco and Michelle Spizziri

Entering its 25th year of operation, Spizzico Pizza & Pasta was at a crossroads. With a host of options available to the owners of the Elmwood Park dining landmark, the path forward was nevertheless clear: Keep it in the family.

“We’ve been in business since 1996,” co-owner Rocco Spizziri says. “My parents (Tito Sr. and Edvige) had this building on North Avenue, and when my brother (Tito Jr.) asked if he could put in a pizza place there, my dad let him.”

Thus, Spizziri Company, aka Spizzico, was born. Known for its double crust pizza and other casual Italian fare, Spizzico quickly gained a following throughout the area.

Then tragedy struck. Tito Jr. passed away, and Tito’s wife, Linda, needed help, so the entire Spizziri family pitched in.

As many as 30 family members have kept the business humming at one time or another. Many of them have other jobs or attend school, but they all put in time at Spizzico as well as at the family’s Mexican-themed restaurant next door, Señor Jefe.

“The whole point is to have the family here as much as possible,” Spizziri says. “For anyone in the family, there is always a job to fall back on. The door is always open.”

Spizzico is located at 7446 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park, IL 60707. For details, call 708-583-0002 or click here.

About David Witter

David Anthony Witter is a Chicago public school teacher and a freelance writer and photographer. Along with William Dal Cerro, he is the author of "Be-Bop, Swing and Bella Musica: Jazz and the Italian American Experience." He has also written "Oldest Chicago" and "Chicago Magic, A history of Stagecraft and Spectacle." His work has appeared in Fra Noi, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Living Blues, New City, Chicago Reader, Bay Area Music Magazine, Primo, Ambassador and Italic Way. He also has entries in "The Italian-American Experience, an Encyclopedia," and "BluesSpeak, The Best of the Chicago Blues Annual."

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