Rich Matokar, who opened his first Arrenello’s 50 years ago in Glenwood, stands inside the Tinley Park location. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Rich Matokar, who opened his first Arrenello’s 50 years ago in Glenwood, stands inside the Tinley Park location. (Photo by Bob Bong)

Arrenello’s Pizza celebrates 50 years

Spread the love

By Bob Bong

Fifty years ago, Rich Matokar had to choose between buying a house or opening a business.

He chose to quit his job at U.S. Steel South Works and open Arrenello’s Pizza in Glenwood and the rest, as they say, is history.

“I did it on a whim,” he said. “A friend was opening a flower shop in Glenwood and said I should open a pizza parlor in the same plaza. My father-in-law and I did the build out and we opened on November 24, 1972.”

Twenty years later, he opened a second Arrenello’s Pizza in Highland, Ind.

“I wanted to see if I could do it again,” he said. “We had a lot of customers from northwest Indiana and they asked us to open in Indiana.”

Twelve years later, he opened a third location in Tinley Park.

Arrenello’s is definitely a family business. Matokar runs the Tinley location. His wife, daughter, son and grandson run the Highland and Glenwood locations.

He attributes half-a-century of success to his pizza and work ethic.

“We were voted the second best stuffed pizza by the Tribune in 1992 and people love our sweet sauce,” he said. “It also took a lot of luck and hard work. The first seven or eight years, I never took a day off. I still have the old values.”

“We created our identity by being there all the time,” he said.

Matokar, 77, did a lot of running to get the business started as well as running for fun when he was younger.

“I ran in 14 marathons before my knees gave out,” he said. “I used to run all over. I ran in the New York Marathon, the LA Marathon. I qualified for the Boston Marathon. I loved running.”

His running days are long over – he’s had two knee replacements – but he has no intention of giving up the business he has helped nurture for five decades.

Arrenello’s menu offers pasta, chicken, ribs and sandwiches, but is well-known for its pizza.

How many pizzas in 50 years?

“I stopped counting at 3 million,” Matokar said with a laugh.

Arrenello’s is located at 325 E. Glenwood-Lansing Road in Glenwood. For hours and information, call 708-758-6160. Their website is arrenellos.com.

In Highland, the pizza parlor is at 2556 45th Street in Brumm’s Plaza. For information, call 219-924-2525.

The Tinley Park location is at 9420 W. 179th Street. For information, call 708-532-2424.

The restaurants offer delivery and carryout.

 

Local News

dvn 6-14-24 riot fest lineup

Riot Fest abandons Chicago park for SeatGeek Stadium

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Last year, Lyrical Lemonade moved its Summer Smash hip-hop music festival from Chicago’s Douglass Park to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium. Thousands of fans poured into the stadium at 7100 S. Harlem Ave. over the course of three days and, by most accounts, enjoyed the experience. Summer Smash returned to SeatGeek this…

Alyssa Blomberg of the group Ramzi and the Loafers, sings during a performance last year at Orland Park’s inaugural SummerFest. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Comings & Goings: Orland Park Summerfest returns this weekend

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Back for a second go round this weekend is the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce’s Summerfest. The event combines a carnival, live music, an array of dining options and a car show, at the 153rd Street Metra Station location in Orland Park and will run from Friday, June 14,…

dvn 6-13-24 township repair cafe for 6-15

Repair Cafe this Saturday at Township of Lyons HQ

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Repair cafes have become quite the thing for the Township of Lyons. So much so that another repair cafe will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 15, at the township office, 6404 Joliet Road in Countryside. A repair café held in May was a smashing…

Father’s Day will be especially hard for Jonathan and Kayla, children of the late Arturo Cantu, one of his sisters said. (Supplied photo)

‘They didn’t have to kill my brother’ – sister of slain Bridgeview man

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Arturo Cantu should be celebrating two big events this weekend. He would have celebrated his 40th birthday on June 14. And, a sister said, he would have enjoyed Father’s Day on Sunday, spending time with family and his two young children. Instead, 10 family members and friends gathered in a…

Sisto Brito

‘You just learn to live with the pain’

Spread the love

Spread the loveStatus hearing in July for McCook murder By Steve Metsch The attorney representing a Chicago man charged with murdering a Blue Island man in McCook in February told a judge Wednesday there’s been “a significant and outstanding discovery in this matter.” Attorney Damon Cheronis made his comment before Cook County Circuit Court Judge…

lagrange police logo

Man shot in La Grange; suspect arrested in Stickney

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch A man was shot Tuesday afternoon in La Grange, according to a news release received Wednesday from the police department. A suspect has been apprehended, the release said. The shooting victim remains in stable condition at a local hospital, the release said. La Grange Police, working with the Major Case…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound June 12, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Softball stock

Softball | Marist will play for state title for fourth straight season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Marist returned to the state title game for the fourth straight season with a 7-1 victory over Mundelein in the semifinals, held June 7 at Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria. The Mustangs (36-2) were making their first appearance at state since 1996. “We have a core group of returners,”…

Terrence Hickey is retiring at the end of June after working 18 years as a building inspector for the village of McCook. (Photo by Steve Metsch) 

McCook building inspector retires after 18 years

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch After 18 years of inspecting buildings, be it a modest bi-level house or a sprawling multi-million-dollar warehouse, Terrence Hickey is retiring from the village of McCook. His retirement takes effect June 28, Mayor Terrance Carr said during the June 3 meeting of the village board. “I’m jealous,” Carr said. “(He’s…

Members of Summit Girl Scout Troop 56615. (Supplied photo)

New Summit Girl Scout troop off and running

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan There’s a new Girl Scout Troop in Summit, and they have been busy. Troop 56615 is made up of girls from Summit School District 104 from first-grade to third-grade, and between 7-9 years old, making them Brownies in the scouting world. They have 10 girls so far, and Troop Leader…

Neighbors

dvn 6-14-24 riot fest lineup

Riot Fest abandons Chicago park for SeatGeek Stadium

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Last year, Lyrical Lemonade moved its Summer Smash hip-hop music festival from Chicago’s Douglass Park to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium. Thousands of fans poured into the stadium at 7100 S. Harlem Ave. over the course of three days and, by most accounts, enjoyed the experience. Summer Smash returned to SeatGeek this…

Alyssa Blomberg of the group Ramzi and the Loafers, sings during a performance last year at Orland Park’s inaugural SummerFest. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Comings & Goings: Orland Park Summerfest returns this weekend

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Back for a second go round this weekend is the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce’s Summerfest. The event combines a carnival, live music, an array of dining options and a car show, at the 153rd Street Metra Station location in Orland Park and will run from Friday, June 14,…

dvn 6-13-24 township repair cafe for 6-15

Repair Cafe this Saturday at Township of Lyons HQ

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Repair cafes have become quite the thing for the Township of Lyons. So much so that another repair cafe will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 15, at the township office, 6404 Joliet Road in Countryside. A repair café held in May was a smashing…

Father’s Day will be especially hard for Jonathan and Kayla, children of the late Arturo Cantu, one of his sisters said. (Supplied photo)

‘They didn’t have to kill my brother’ – sister of slain Bridgeview man

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Arturo Cantu should be celebrating two big events this weekend. He would have celebrated his 40th birthday on June 14. And, a sister said, he would have enjoyed Father’s Day on Sunday, spending time with family and his two young children. Instead, 10 family members and friends gathered in a…

Sisto Brito

‘You just learn to live with the pain’

Spread the love

Spread the loveStatus hearing in July for McCook murder By Steve Metsch The attorney representing a Chicago man charged with murdering a Blue Island man in McCook in February told a judge Wednesday there’s been “a significant and outstanding discovery in this matter.” Attorney Damon Cheronis made his comment before Cook County Circuit Court Judge…

lagrange police logo

Man shot in La Grange; suspect arrested in Stickney

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch A man was shot Tuesday afternoon in La Grange, according to a news release received Wednesday from the police department. A suspect has been apprehended, the release said. The shooting victim remains in stable condition at a local hospital, the release said. La Grange Police, working with the Major Case…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound June 12, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Softball stock

Softball | Marist will play for state title for fourth straight season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent Marist returned to the state title game for the fourth straight season with a 7-1 victory over Mundelein in the semifinals, held June 7 at Louisville Slugger Sports Complex in Peoria. The Mustangs (36-2) were making their first appearance at state since 1996. “We have a core group of returners,”…

Terrence Hickey is retiring at the end of June after working 18 years as a building inspector for the village of McCook. (Photo by Steve Metsch) 

McCook building inspector retires after 18 years

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch After 18 years of inspecting buildings, be it a modest bi-level house or a sprawling multi-million-dollar warehouse, Terrence Hickey is retiring from the village of McCook. His retirement takes effect June 28, Mayor Terrance Carr said during the June 3 meeting of the village board. “I’m jealous,” Carr said. “(He’s…

Members of Summit Girl Scout Troop 56615. (Supplied photo)

New Summit Girl Scout troop off and running

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan There’s a new Girl Scout Troop in Summit, and they have been busy. Troop 56615 is made up of girls from Summit School District 104 from first-grade to third-grade, and between 7-9 years old, making them Brownies in the scouting world. They have 10 girls so far, and Troop Leader…