What was known as Café Buonaro’s for more than two decades has re-opened as Bella Familia.
In December, the Italian eatery opened in Fifth Avenue Station at 300 E. Fifth Ave., Naperville.
Staying true to the location’s Italian in-house dining and large catering service, it also is introducing some new twists, ideas and a new wine menu.
Owner Michael Genovise, a Chicago native who has been in the restaurant business for more than three decades, came into his latest venture with some new ideas but also respect for what already was established.
“We want to continue to offer affordable quality Italian food,” Genovise says.
Bella Familia easily can host bigger crowds, and the restaurant set-up allows for private party bookings. Genovise also emphasizes the ample free parking out front.
Daughter of original owners Ron and Regina Buonaro, Tina Marie Buonaro is staying on as general manager.
“We knew we wanted to keep a few of the favorites from Buonaro’s on the menu,” she says, meaning the baked spaghetti and chicken marley. She says each is “made with lots of love,” and costs less than $10 at lunchtime.
“The new menu offers some different pasta dishes, new sauce options, meat and seafood elections along with whole-wheat and gluten-free options,” says Genovise, highlighting nightly specials, but also a full bar and busy weekends.
Don’t miss out on trying the organic, pure meat sausages specially made for Bella Familia, that can be added to any pasta dish.
Genovise, who isn’t related to the Buonaro family but fondly calls original owner Ron Buonaro “Uncle Ronnie,” says family is not always about blood. “This family goes way back,” he explains.
“As a Chicago native, I look forward to getting to know the city and the people of Naperville, and serving them great Italian food, just like my Uncle Ronnie did,” Genovise says.
Curbside care packages
In early December, Naperville resident and pharmacist Walter Sharshon opened the independently owned Easy Care Pharmacy at 1238 W. Ogden Ave., Naperville. He offers everything larger pharmacy chains do while maintaining a personalized apothecary touch.
“We want to create that small-town feel, specialized care, and curbside service for our customers,” says Anna Huffman, pharmacist and pharmacy manager at Easy Care Pharmacy. Huffman compares the pharmacy’s competitive pricing to some of the major wholesale stores.
Next to stocking all the common over-the-counter and prescribed medications, the pharmacy also offers Easy Care Packs, conveniently sorting a customer’s medicine into daily morning, midday and evening pouches.
“Instead of sorting the pills themselves, they are readily available in a 2-inch-by-2-inch strip,” Huffman says. Perfect for travel, too, she adds.
The convenient location off Ogden and close to the intersection of Raymond Drive and North Aurora Road allows customers to easily stop by. Easy Care Pharmacy is contracted with all major medical insurances.
Yogurt chain expands
Naperville residents and cousins Sam and Samar Sheth are opening a Forever Yogurt location at 71 S. LaGrange Road, in La Grange, on Feb. 5. with more locations in the works.
The entrepreneurs are excited about the opportunity to join this young Chicago-based company, even if the Naperville franchise opportunity was already taken.
“We were looking for the great customer service, essential in the food industry,” Sam Sheth says. “Forever Yogurt is fun and also family oriented.”
Their first location opened in August in Logan Square, Chicago.
Forever Yogurt promises premium frozen yogurt in a self-serve environment at 49 cents an ounce.
“The frozen yogurt includes live bacteria; it’s probiotic,” Sam Sheth says.
“We love the Naperville community and were looking for something similar,” he says of the LaGrange location.
Samar adds there will be a multitude of toppings, dry and fresh, as well as premium hot chocolate especially appreciated in winter.
Know of a business coming to or leaving Naperville? Contact Daina Saleh at email@example.com.