A new Italian restaurant is about to open in downtown Aurora in space recently vacated by another restaurant.
Amore Mio, an Italian-American restaurant created by chef Roberto Avila, will open in the former Gillerson’s Grubbery building, 33 W. New York St., half a block from River Street on the West Side.
According to Avila, the restaurant “pays homage to the essence of the great Italian-American restaurants of mid-20th century New York.” He said these restaurants offered “delicious and exceptionally well-prepared food” which was served “in elegant, comfortable and unpretentious settings.”
Avila is the chef and creator of Altiro, the Latin fusion restaurants that have multiple locations including downtown Aurora, on Boulevard Galena and Avenue Stolp, and in Geneva.
He said one of the reasons he chose Aurora was because of the city’s history and because it’s the second largest city in Illinois. Avila’s specialty is Italian cuisine, and he said an Italian restaurant “would be a great asset to the downtown Aurora theater community.”
“They chose Aurora because they know we believe in business,” said Elle Withall, downtown director for the mayor’s office of economic development. She said the fact that a new restaurant is opening in Gilerson’s old location just months after the old restaurant closed is “a good sign of the momentum” underway downtown.
“The mayor and all the city departments are there to hold their hand,” she said. “They are the liaison between the city government and the community building.”
Avila said the restaurant would be tucked away in the basement and offer live music every night and a piano bar area Wednesday through Sunday. It would feature local musicians from surrounding communities.
“At the bar and lounge, you can enjoy classic and exceptional organic martinis and cocktails,” he said.
The restaurant will also have a brick oven for pizzas, Avila said.