Bill Malliaras, owner of Julliani’s, 7239 W. College Drive, is celebrating his 35th anniversary as owner of the Palos Heights restaurant. (File photo)

Bill Malliaras, owner of Julliani’s, 7239 W. College Drive, is celebrating his 35th anniversary as owner of the Palos Heights restaurant. (File photo)

Julliani’s celebrates 35 years of loving Palos Heights

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By Bob Bong

Bill Malliaras has seen his share of ups and downs in 35 years of operating a restaurant in Palos Heights.

Originally, Malliaras and his brother Perry opened a Giordano’s franchise in 1988 at 7239 W. College Drive. The chain was eventually sold, and the brothers went independent in 2001 and Julliani’s was born.

“It was a good experience,” Malliaras says. “But they were sold and we went out on our own.”

Things were tough when they opened Julliani’s. “We lost a good chunk of our business. It takes time to win peoples confidence back after something like that.”

The road to 35 years has had its share of potholes.

The terror attacks in September 2001 put a damper on business.

Perry left the business in 2006.

The banking crisis of 2007-2008 took its toll on dining out.

Things really improved after a remodeling project in 2009, but then came COVID.

“COVID was terrible for business,” he said. “It was the worse it ever was. It changed everything. Before, 35 percent of our business was delivery. Now, it’s closer to 50 percent. I’m thinking of downsizing my dining room. Restaurants are having to adapt to a new normal.”

And, now, inflation is taking its toll.

“My rent has gone from $4,500 a month to $13,000, and my payroll is up to $7,300.”

Through it all, Malliaras has kept his chin up and tried to give people great food and a place to enjoy dining.

“I love Palos Heights,” he says. “No business can do it without the support of the community. I’ve become a part of the community I love. We have earned their trust.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to the community for allowing me to be a part of their lives.”

A part of his success over the years has been his staff. “I have employees who have been with me 20-30 years.”

While Malliaras would like to stay around for 35 more years, he thinks business needs a helping hand from local government.

“Bad policies are hurting small businesses,” he said. “We need poker machines. It’s ridiculous we don’t have them. Every town around us has them. We need a level playing field.”

Julliani’s is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays.

For information, call 708-361-4222.

8 Comments

  1. Karen S on April 12, 2023 at 9:42 pm

    Congratulations Bill! You have always offered a good reasonably priced meal! Our family has been customers for all your 35 years. You must be a good person to work for if your staff have been there all these years!! We hope to see you stay open for many more years!



  2. Photography by Angel Studio on April 12, 2023 at 11:35 pm

    Me and my family love Jullianis and eat there frequently. Great food, great service and we love the atmosphere there. I order lunch from there usually once a week while working. I love the lunch specials.



  3. Barb on April 14, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Congratulations ???? My family and I enjoy your restaurant so much. We have even brought some family and friends. Your food is always good and within our budget. If we have a choice, we visit Jullianis. Wishing you many more years doing what you do. Barb G.



  4. Nancy on April 14, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    Congratulations Bill! Food and service are always great!



    • Dan OConnell on April 21, 2023 at 12:20 am

      My family and I were in the restaurant on April 20, 2023.. We entered the restaurant before 7:00 pm.
      Food was great as usual. The problem was, when the cleanup guy decided
      to mop the floors using bleach at 7:45. Talk about ruin your meal, wow, The bleach smell was terrible. He should have mopped the men’s bathroom where the urine smell is horrible,,it may have helped in there,
      At 8:05 we needed to order a carry out, we were told by the waitress, that the kitchen was closed. Its 8:05. Then the lights in the back dining room were turned off.. it was obvious that the place was trying to close, it’s now 8:10..wow, talk about feeling rushed.. We have been customers for years and it’s very obvious that when Bills not around the restaurant is run by people that just do not care about their customers.. it really bothers me to write this negative review, but if Bill doesn’t take control, Juliana’s will not be around much longer..



  5. Lynda on April 14, 2023 at 7:31 pm

    Congratulations Bill. We ❤️ u and ur place ❤️❤️❤️love Lynda ♥️see ya soon



  6. Moe on April 15, 2023 at 11:56 pm

    Congratulations Bill, you are a class act and run a wonderful restaurant where families can meet to enjoy a great pizza to celebrating an occasion. We moved to Indiana a few years ago but, still come back for the best ever pizza ????????❤️????????
    Thank you for all you continue to do for your customers, it’s beyond appreciated.

    Moe



  7. Denise & Dennis Hyker on April 21, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Congrats Bill! We love Julianni’s! One of our favorite places for pizza, salads and more! You are always a welcoming sight whenever we see you there. Thank you for what you have built and continue to build in our community, great food, great atmosphere and a fun family place to go. All our best for your continued success in Palos Heights!



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