OREGON (WREX) — If you've ever drove down Route 2 through Ogle County, there's a chance you've probably seen and smelled Alfano's Pizzeria in Oregon.
"We've been around a long time," says co-owner Tony Alfano, "To the best of my knowledge we're the longest operating business, restaurant under one management in Ogle County."
For five decades the family-owned Italian restaurant has been serving up a slice of Italy to the folks of Northern Illinois. Alfano says their secret ingredient is passion.
"We enjoy it, we take a lot of pride in it, we're here to serve."
"It is a hard business to be in and to last this long is even harder," Alfano says. "[We] care about the community, it is those things that keep you striving, moving forward and keep trying to do your best."
Even after years of success, Alfano says last year was the hardest the restaurant has ever gone through.
Several employees had to be laid off and service went to 100% carry out. Despite many ups and downs, the family pulled through and business is slowing getting back to where it was before Covid-19.
"You got to take it as it goes."
"Do your best, try hard, work hard at it, stay focused and continue," Alfano says, "You will pull out of it. That's our motto."
As to how Alfano's is still standing, the answer is simple. The people.
"There's a lot of good people, we are humbled by how they are, how they've taken us in," Alfano says.
Whether you like your pizza meaty or smothered in cheese, every pie is kneaded with love.
"Yes, everything is made with love, it really is."
"I can honestly say we care and we do make it with love," Alfano says.
Alfano's is open for dine in and carry-out from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on weekends.