Owner: Enrico's Will Be Moving, But Where is Still Unknown
Harry D'Ercole, an owner of Enrico's Italian Dining, said they're still deciding whether to move in to an existing site or build at a new location. And while he'd like to stay in the village, D'Ercole said Frankfort isn't the only area being considered.
With Mariano's Fresh Market officially coming to Frankfort, it might be a foregone conclusion that Enrico's Italian Dining will be moving from the location it's been at for the past 38 years.
But what's not as certain are the details surrounding where the popular Frankfort restaurant will end up.
"We're definitely going to be moving," Harry D'Ercole, a co-owner of Enrico's, said in a phone interview Tuesday, June 5. "Now our quest is to find the new location for the restaurant."
The cause for the move is a land deal between Enrico's owners and Bradford Development, the developers behind the new Mariano's location. D'Ercole and his brother, Bob, agreed to sell a parcel of land on the east side of LaGrange Road, north of Lincoln Highway, that includes the restaurant, the former Town Center bank and two houses. The deal was contingent on the Frankfort Village Board approving Mariano's plan to build a 73,000-square-foot upscale grocery store at 21001 LaGrange Road, which it did at its Monday, June 4, meeting.
While the move is a reality, there is no timeline yet, D'Ercole said, adding that they're looking at different existing sites, as well as considering building from scratch at a new location. D'Ercole wouldn't disclose the areas he's been looking at, but they're not exclusive to Frankfort, he said. Ideally, he wants to keep Enrico's in the village, where it's become as much a Frankfort staple and landmark as the Grainery Tower or the LaGrange Road bridge, D'Ercole said.
"We're trying to stay in Frankfort, but we are being 'hawked' by other areas," he said. "We have looked at sites to the north (that border Frankfort), ... but it's really our goal to try to stay in Frankfort."
When a move date is set, customers still will have a month to dine at and enjoy the current location, D'Ercole said, adding that the restaurant will have 60-days notice before Mariano's begins to develop the lot. During that time, the restaurant intends to do some special events for its customers, he said.
Although Mariano's building its new location is the impetus for Enrico's finding a new home now, a move from the LaGrange Road site was imminent, D'Ercole said. The restaurant had outgrown its current building, which was built two years after Enrico's originally opened, he added. But the inevitability of a move doesn't make it any less emotional for the D'Ercoles and the longtime managers and chefs, some who have worked at Enrico's from 25 to 35 years, D'Ercole said.
"My entire working career has been on this corner," he said. "It is hard."
The change of address also will create a scenario Enrico's has never encountered before, D'Ercole said. The restaurant will be closed for more than 14 days. But downtime for Enrico's doesn't mean downtime for D'Ercole.
"It would be nice to look at it as a vacation, but I'll probably be working harder than if the restaurant was open," he said, laughing. "It will be nice to maybe have a few evenings off and a couple weekends, though."
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