"The best things are worth waiting for," said Mark Hoffmann explaining why he hasn't opened Moretti's Ristorante and Pizzeria at the former Governor's Pub in Lake in the Hills yet. "I was just going to change the name and open the doors but then I realized once we opened we couldn't do all the things we wanted to do."
Hoffmann said he'd planned to open the new restaurant at the end of May but changed his mind to to customize the facility. Included were things like chucking Governor's microbrewery in favor of expanded seating, adding a pair of patios for 150 al fresco diners, installing 25 giant plasma TV's to follow sports channels and building a second kitchen for carryout and delivery orders only. "It was a good deal (getting Governor's) but we've had to put a lot of work and money into giving Moretti's its own personality," said Hoffman.
The opening date now? "I'm projecting the end of July," Hoffman said. "Probably."
The Lake in the Hills Moretti's is the latest in the 35-restaurant Ala Carte Entertainment chain in Schaumburg begun by Hoffman's father in 1969. "I've been waiting for an opportunity to have a premier location in Lake in the Hills on Randall Road," Hoffmann said. "Governor's was the perfect size and location."
Hoffmann describes Moretti's as a Swiss army knife of restaurants. "It's an Italian restaurant and pizzeria and a sports bar and a banquet facility. With carryout and delivery and curbside pickup." In broader terms, though, Hoffmann says he plans a family restaurant in early evening morphing into a nighttime entertainment destination past 10 PM. "Life after dinner is a big part of the Moretti's experience," Hoffmann said.
Carryout and delivery also figure prominently in Hoffman's plans, however. He's added a multi-station phone room to the complex to be run by a separate manager.
Hoffmann said he expects to hire a staff of 100 for the new Moretti's.
In the pic: Work continues to prepare Moretti's new Lake in the Hills Restaurant for its opening.