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Orazio History

The land on which Orazio Pub stands has been a local tavern since the turn of the last century. The original tavern building, a two story wood frame structure, housed several rooms on the second floor. It remain that way until 1961, when the entire structure burned down. I was told that it had two flaps for a front door at the time, with additional apartments above and behind. The property has had numerous owners over the years including: Parkview Tavern, The Nickle Inn, and Duisenberg's. Then, a retired auto dealer, Angelo Egizio, and his wife Rusty (my parents) purchased the property. Angelo and I worked out a deal and we were in business! We worked mornings together at Orazio Pub for nearly 15 years. We had some great times cooking turkeys to give away on Thanksgiving Eve. I think my Dad liked the fact that everyone tried his turkey first. Creating our own recipes, Angelo perfected all the soups, while I spiced up my own special chili. Angelo loved to see people enjoy his food, which is a true Italian tradition. Angelo loved to cook, and everyone who knew him heard Angelo talk about his soup recipe, and always working to perfect it.

I am Angelo's son Owen Egizio, and my Father was from Caramonica Italy in the Abruzzi Province, located in a mountainous region northeast of Rome near the Adriatic Sea. Angelo's Father "Orazio" emigrated from there around 1915. After making several trips back and forth to the U.S. during World War I, Orazio was captured while on a returning trip to the "Old Country." He managed to escape from his imprisonment, and found safe haven in Austria where he had the happiest time of his life working for a couple farmers. The farm was home for a while, but when the war ended, Italy paid for his return to the U.S. for fighting in the war. Months later, Orazio purchased a road house on Rt. 66 in Joliet called "The Venice Tavern." As the story goes, Orazio sent money to his wife Philomena to bring her, and their three Sons back to the U.S. Philomena sent a letter to Orazio explaining that she purchased a restaurant in Caramonica, and that he should return back home. He responded by telling her to sell the place because he's not coming back. Philomena agreed to sell the restaurant, and moved to America with her three boys Flore, Nick, and Angelo. They resided above the Venice Tavern, and settled into their new life in America. Angelo's room was above the entrance, and right out front facing the infamous Rt. 66. The Tavern business also included a gas station, one of the original road houses on the growing American asphalt.

We have tried many new things over the years. Some ideas worked, while others did not, but Angelo still loved trying new ideas. If you like good food, friendly people, and long for that timeless place where the fast pace society is left at the door, come and visit Orazio Pub. Angelo is no longer with us, but his love for food and people still are present. I am Owen Egizio, and I invite you to a nice place to eat, drink, and spend time with your friends.

Sincerely, Owen Egizio



Future Home of Orazio's

Original Venice Tavern & Gardens
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