By Bob Uphues
For years, Riverside residents have wondered, "Why doesn't this village have a pizza place of its own?"
It does now.
Late last month, Prestello's Pizza quietly appeared on the scene, inside the corner space at the Arcade Building, 1 Riverside Road.
Thin-crust pizzas are handmade to order in three sizes — they also sell a thicker crust version by the slice — using a family recipe. You can dine in at one of the few tables inside the business or they'll deliver to Riverside, Brookfield, Lyons, Berwyn and North Riverside.
But wait, you, say, isn't that where Urban Leaf and Bean coffee shop is located?
Well, yes it is.
The owners of Urban Leaf and Bean, Dannette Massarello and Valerie Presto — "Prestello's" combines their two last names — haven't abandoned the coffee shop concept.
From 7 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, the business will operate as Urban Leaf and Bean. Then from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., they'll pull out the checked tablecloths and transform the place into a pizza parlor. It's open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Massarello and Presto said they decided to jump into the pizza business just a few weeks ago, after brainstorming ways to expand offerings for customers.
"We needed something more," Presto said.
Italian food and pizza in particular seemed a natural, according to Presto, a self-proclaimed "pizza freak."
"We've had so many people ask for pizza," said Massarello.
The two spent a night honing a pizza dough recipe, which had its origins in a recipe that came from Massarello's Neapolitan grandmother.
"We stayed late making dough, combining recipes and finally got it down," said Presto.
The two then began delivering sample pizzas to local businesses to get the word out.
In the next few weeks, Prestello's hopes to expand its offerings beyond pizza to pastas, chicken dishes, sandwiches, soups and more. The owners have installed a range hood in the kitchen and have purchased a stove, which is waiting to be installed.
"It will be all homemade," said Presto. "This is the kind of stuff I eat. I just want people to enjoy a place with a family atmosphere."
Once that happens, said Presto, they are hoping to serve home-style Italian fare. Presto added that the business is looking to get a BYOB liquor license, so people can bring in a bottle of wine or beer to have with dinner.