Biancalana brothers turn over reins to Elmcrest Banquets

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Jim and Al Biancalana turned over the reins of Elmcrest Banquets in November, ending a remarkable run that spanned two generations and nine decades.

Located in Elmwood Park, The Elmcrest has been catering to the needs of countless customers since it opened its doors in 1994. But the Biancalana family was in the food service business for decades, and recently celebrated its 90th year in business.

Begun as a small ice cream parlor in 1929 by Al Biancalana Sr., the business grew into Biancalana’s Restaurant and Banquets. During this time, Al Sr. was joined by his three sons, Al, Jim and the late Bob. Now dedicated entirely to banquets, the Elmcrest seats from 40 to 400 people with four different-sized rooms.

“We’ve hosted parties for the children and grandchildren of our original customers,” Al Biancalana says. “We’ve been blessed with wonderful clients and a spectacular staff, but we’ve been doing this since we were kids and it’s time to retire.

Picking up where the Biancalanas left off is the Kamber family, who have a similar food service pedigree. They’ve been in the business for three decades and own the Avalon in Elk Grove Village.

“Elmcrest is legendary for its food, service and atmosphere and we plan on keeping that tradition going strong,” says Oriana Oshana, who will be running the facility under the same name and retaining the same staff and menu.


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Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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