Although Page’s Restaurant is in new hands, it’s still a family diner.
Kathy Barbara and her daughter Cissy Rallo bought the restaurant in downtown Hinsdale from Chuck and Wendy Page in December.
“I wouldn’t have handed it over to just anybody,” said Chuck Page. “It had to be somebody who respected the restaurant.”
After 32 years of owning and running the business, the Pages, who live in Westmont, decided to retire.
Barbara and Rallo have added televisions, WiFi and a cork board which displays recent newspaper articles, many from The Doings, about customers or their children. They also added menu choices.
“Everything is freshly bought and freshly made,” Rallo said. “I’m proud of it.”
The restaurant continues to be open for breakfast and lunch only.
“It was very important to keep everything that was on the menu and just add to it. We didn’t want to irritate any of the customers who had been coming here for years and years,” Rallo said. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback on how we handled the transition.”
Waitress Michele Ciangi-Bachtell, who lives in Western Springs, has worked at Page’s for more than 30 years and been friends with Rallo’s mother about that long.
Ciangi-Bachtell knew Rallo and Barbara, an Indian Head Park resident who came to Page’s regularly, were thinking about going into business for themselves. When the Pages decided to sell, Ciangi-Bachtell notified them.
“I wanted to keep my job,” said Ciangi-Bachtell.
Rallo said she and her mother thought Page’s was a great opportunity, although they had not owned a restaurant previously.
“It was a no-brainer,” Rallo said. “I went to a lawyer, had a contract drawn up and it was done within a week.”
“As simple as buying a loaf of bread,” Ciangi-Bachtell said.
John and Pat Martoccio have been coming to Page’s about 30 years, “since our kids were little babies and they’re grown now,” John said.
The Martoccios are lawyers whose offices are on the other side of the railroad tracks from Page’s.
Since the new owners took over, they have come to Page’s for lunch more often, four or five times a week.
“The food is much improved,” said John Martoccio, who gets the same thing everyday, tuna salad on a toasted hamburger bun.
“The cook knows how to prepare it when I say who it’s for,” Ciangi-Bachtell said.
Martoccio said he was a creature of habit.
“They are much more adventurous and try something different each time,” he said, referring to Pat and a co-worker, Mark Imielski, who were dining with him Friday.
“They have healthy food now. You don’t always get it, but it’s still there for you,” said Imielski, who favors the huevos rancheros.
Until moving to Austin, Texas, about six months ago, Rick Abraham lived in the western suburbs most of his life, most recently in Burr Ridge. He was back in town this week and headed to Page’s for lunch.
“It’s short-order cooking at its finest,” Abraham said. “It’s simple, fresh and a warm atmosphere. It’s a fun throw-back to pre-franchises.”
For Rallo, “it’s a dream job. You come in everyday and meet people and talk family.”
She used to own a construction company.
“This is a walk in the park compared to that,” Rallo said. “There I had to worry about making a $30,000 payroll every week. Here my biggest problem is rotten tomatoes.”