Owner Valerie PrestoBOB UPHUES/Staff

Riverside’s one and only pizza joint, Prestello’s, will be pulling up stakes and moving to Forest Park at the end of April.

Owner Valerie Presto confirmed the move last week, saying the new Prestello’s Pizza should be open by the first week of May at 7510 W. Madison St., formerly home to a gelato store.

“It’s bigger and there’s so much more foot traffic. It’s such a big, big thing,” said Presto of the new location, which is on a street lined by bars, restaurants and niche retailers. There’s also no other pizza place on the Madison Street strip.

Presto and Dannette Massarello opened their doors just a year ago under the name Urban Leaf and Bean Café, a specialty coffee/tea shop, in the Arcade Building at 1 Riverside Road.

Last December, they added the pizza dimension to the business and said they hoped to expand the Italian food offerings in order to make Prestello’s a family-style restaurant. The kitchen space in the Arcade Building is very small, however.

“We’re always bumping into each other,” she said. “It’s not enough room.”

The business will leave the Arcade Building by April 30, when its lease expires.

The Forest Park space has a much bigger kitchen, in addition to a furnished dining area and, of course, the ice cream machine left by the previous tenant.

Presto said she hopes Prestello’s will become a place where families come for pizza and Italian cuisine. The business won’t have a liquor license, at least for now. The coffee/tea shop concept won’t be moving to Forest Park with them.

However, the Urban Leaf and Bean/Prestello’s space in the Arcade Building might not be vacant for too long.

The building’s owner is in lease negotiations with a bakery business, which specializes in gluten-free products, according to Adriana Meadath, one of the partners in the business.

Meadath a classically trained pastry chef, says Flur Pastries is seeking to use not only the corner space being used presently, but also to expand into the space immediately north. The business would include a small retail component, but most of the space would be focused on a wholesale operation.

A resident of Stickney, Meadath said she and her two partners expect to have a lease as well as architectural plans finalized this week. If all goes well, she said, the business might be open by the end of May.

Meadath, who has worked as a pastry chef at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago, previously operated a more traditional pastry catering business online. But she is working to change the business’ website to reflect the new gluten-free model.

According to the present website, the business’ name “is a homonym, and has the double meaning of ‘flour’ and ‘flower’ in Scottish Gaelic. We chose it for its simplicity and uniqueness, as well as its meaning as it relates to pastry and something beautiful.”

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