Peoria Heights restaurant reopens in time to celebrate 37 years

Local News

PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (WMBD) — Paparazzi Italian Restaurant is back open after closing for 14 weeks during the pandemic.

“When I put the key in the door today and turned the numbers, my mind was on what took place here 37 years ago today of a great coming together of a family effort,” said co-owner and chef Bruce Brown.

The longstanding Peoria Heights restaurant reopened Wednesday, just in time to celebrate its 37th anniversary. The restaurant first opened on July 1, 1983.

Brown says the restaurant has survived hardships and reached milestones thanks to its heart and soul.

“Lisa and I just feel extraordinarily lucky that we are able to hold onto this institution,” said Brown.

He says they’ll do what it takes to keep the restaurant open.

“Improvise, adapt, and overcome. No one is ever given a perfect slate,” said Brown.

He says he’s ready to reopen the restaurant, welcoming back family, friends, and regulars.

“This is a place where people come together and feel better going out the door than they came in,” said Brown.

Outside of the restaurant, people will notice a new addition: a solidarity heart. Brown encourages anyone who’s been affected by COVID-19 to sign their name.

Paparazzi Italian Restaurant is open Wednesday through Saturday starting at 5:30 p.m. It’s closed on the Fourth of July, but there is an anniversary celebration at the restaurant on Sunday starting at 1 p.m.

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