Pete and Johnny's Re-Vamps as Pizzeria Bombola
“The old concept was dated and we wanted to shake things up some,” the owners says. The restaurant celebrated its grand opening on Thursday evening.
With a “snip” from a giant pair of scissors, Pizzeria Bombola became the newest restaurant in Lisle.
The restaurant takes the place of Pete and Johnny’s Tavern and Grille, 2901 Ogden Ave., which opened 13-years ago.
Restaurateur John Skoubis, who was a partner in Pete and Johnny’s, said they shifted concepts in order to appeal to a wider clientele, specifically families. Since the restaurant re-opened under the pizzeria concept, Skoubis said he’s noticed a steady flow of families dining there.
“We want people to be comfortable and casual when they dine with us,” Skoubis said.
During the ribbon ceremony Lisle Mayor Joe Broda wished Skoubis great success with the new restaurant. He quipped he hoped the restaurant generated a lot of tax revenue for the community.
Transforming the restaurant from a pub to a family-friendly environment was inspired by a Skoubis family trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. As Skoubis and his family dined in a small Italian restaurant he took note of the food and atmosphere and felt it was something missing in Lisle.
“The old concept was dated and we wanted to shake things up some,” Skoubis said. “So far it seems to be appealing to the markets we wanted to appeal to.”
The hand-crafted thin-crust pizzas are all made with fresh ingredients and overseen by Dino Bezanes, the restaurant’s chef.
Pizzeria Bombola’s menu focuses on thin-crust pizzas, hamburgers ad craft beers. One of the menu’s burgers is called the Pat LaFrieda burger. Skoubis said Pizza Bombola is the first restaurant in the western suburbs to feature that “high-quality” beef from a New York meat company.
“It’s a premium burger that just melts in your mouth,” Skoubis said.
One feature that sets Pizza Bombola off from other restaurants is a special provision in its liquor license that allows the restaurant to sell bottles of beer and wine to go. Skoubis said people who place to-go orders can also order wine or beer to accompany their take-out meal.
In addition to the upstairs dining area the restaurant features a downstairs party room that can seat 25-50 people. Skoubis said multiple groups have already booked the room.
Prior to Thursday’s grand opening the restaurant held a soft opening for customers, including members of the Lisle Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President Tom Althoff, along with other members, said they enjoyed their meals.
Skoubis said many of the diners who came to the soft opening have provided “tremendous feedback” on the food and atmosphere. Among the feedback was a large contingency of families laughing and enjoying themselves in the restaurant.
“We haven’t seen families in years and it’s great to see them now,” Skoubis said.
Pizzeria Bombola employs around 40 front and back of the house workers. There are currently no plans for live entertainment.