|Founded||1959 in Homewood, Illinois|
|Headquarters||Homewood, Illinois, USA|
Aurelio's Pizza is an Illinois restaurant chain which centers its business around the thin crust variety of Chicago-style pizza. Aurelio's Pizza has two corporate owned stores and 44 franchised locations in 6 states.
Aurelio's Pizza History
The Aurelio family was instrumental in development of thin crust "Chicago style pizza". James Aurelio, founded Macomb IL’s first pizza restaurant, The Italian Village in 1952. Students from the local state university, Western Illinois University, were primarily from the Chicago area, allowing this style to become well known across the state. In the mid-1950s, one of James’ nephews, Joe Aurelio Jr., came to Macomb IL to work in the restaurant. Joe eventually moved back home to the Chicago area in 1959 and founded his own pizza restaurant, named Aurelio’s. This was a small, 4 table restaurant on Ridge Rd. in Homewood. Both Aurelios specialized in a distinctive thin crust pizza that was sliced in 'Chicago style' square pieces. By 1977, Aurelio’s had grown so popular that they opened the world's largest pizzeria near its original store in what was formerly a 12,000-square-foot (1,100 m2) industrial warehouse. The company's slogan is "Aurelio's is Pizza!" When James Aurelio died, the Macomb branch of the Aurelio family sold The Italian Village and it became an Aurelio’s Pizza franchise - and like the original Aurelio’s it is also still in the original location. The chain's main competition is Rosati's Pizza, Nancy's Pizza and Home Run Inn, as well as many smaller family-owned establishments. The son of James Aurelio, Larry Aurelio, subsequently started a new pizza chain named "Larry A's". The original one is in Macomb, IL. The other ones are in Rushville, IL and Canton, IL. They also serve the same family classic thin crust "Chicago style pizza".
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The chain's specialties are its Thin-crust pizza and "calabrese", also known by most as a calzone. They are not particularly known[by whom?] for traditional Chicago deep dish, though they do offer a thick crust and stuffed crust on the menu. In addition, a variety of other menu items are available, including Italian beef, meatball sandwiches, a variety of salads, many appetizers and a special warm cookie dessert. All of the locations offer delivery and carry-out they have 32 full service restaurants with dining rooms and alcoholic beverages. The featured menu item at most Aurelio's locations is their #23 Super-Six thin crust pizza and spinach calabrese.
- Two-time winner of the renowned Silver Platter Award, as being selected by fellow Chicago area restaurateurs as a favorite place to dine (awarded by Food Industry News)
- Best Pizza 2007 Chicago Sun-Times