Article By: Christopher Placek
Left photo: Then-Rosemont Mayor Donald E. Stephens cuts into a deep dish pizza joined by then-Rosemont Horizon Executive Director Harry Pappas, from left, Gino's East Manager Steve French, owner Russ Lubliner, Manager Rich Jurczak, and then-Village Trustee Brad Stephens.
Right photo: Current Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens cuts into a deep dish pizza joined by Village Trustee Harry Pappas, from left, Gino's East Manager Steve French, owner Russ Lubliner, and MB Financial Park at Rosemont General Manager Brad Stephens II.
After a 12-year absence, Gino's East is serving its famous deep dish pizza in Rosemont again.
Village officials and the pizzeria's management recently got together for a ceremonial pizza cutting to celebrate, and recreate a photo from the opening of Gino's in 1993.
Gino's relocated in August to the Rosemont village hall building, 9501 W. Devon Ave., inside a first-floor restaurant space vacated by Rosie's River Edge Tavern. The pizzeria moved about a mile away from its former location at 8725 W. Higgins Road in Chicago.
Gino's first iteration in Rosemont was from 1993 to 2004 on Higgins Road, west of River Road. When it opened, then-Mayor Donald E. Stephens was pictured presiding over the first ceremonial pizza cutting with his son, then-Village Trustee Brad Stephens. Joining them were restaurant managers Steve French and Rich Jurczak, owner Russ Lubliner, and Harry Pappas, who was executive director of the Rosemont Horizon (now known as the Allstate Arena).
Many of the same people gathered at the new Gino's to try to recreate the original photo. In the new photo, Brad Stephens, who became mayor after the death of his father in 2007, is slicing into a deep dish pie, joined again by French, Lubliner and Pappas (now a village trustee), as well as Brad Stephens II, the mayor's son, who is general manager of the MB Financial Park at Rosemont entertainment district.
It could be said that the original Mayor Stephens may have been there in spirit. An 8-foot, 1,500-pound bronze-cast statue in his likeness was dedicated outside the village hall, visible from the new Gino's East outdoor patio, on Father's Day.
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