We have been in business now for 2 years as Morello’s Pizza and Grill. We offer regular and gourmet pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, fresh salads, steaks, shrimp, catfish, and much more.
This venture started out as a life long dream to own a restaurant for two of the three owners. Mike and LaRue Sumner previously owned a print /award shop in their hometown of Harrisburg, Illinois. In that business they met Dave and Kim Dennison who owned Strictly Outdoors , a local sporting goods store. Mike and Dave learned of their common desire to have a restaurant and their love of cooking , sparking the start of Morello’s. As partners with Dave and Kim Dennison at Strictly Outdoors, Corey and Amy Partridge were eager to participate in the new venture.
Mike sold his print shop and spent a year to research and prepare to manage the new restaurant . Originally Mike, Dave, and Corey had purchased land in Marion, Illinois, intending to locate the restaurant in that city. During the architecting stage of the project, a building outside of town was secured to perfect recipes and train staff. We were amazed at the response received. Morello’s stayed busy enough that the owners decided to permanently locate in Harrisburg. The land in Marion was sold and the search began for the perfect location within Harrisburg. Soon the owners found the perfect place, a Cadillac dealership that dated back to 1950. Renovation proceeded and Morello’s opened the new 20,000 square feet facility on December 06, 2006.
The new facility boasts seating for ### in the dining room, a side meeting room that seats 24, a full service bar that seats 55, a game room for children of all ages, and a banquet area that seats 300 people.
The number one question asked of all Morello’s staff would be, “How did you come up with the name?” As the owners mulled over names for the restaurant the name “Mustache Pete” was brought up. Mustache Pete is a termed coined by the younger Sicilian Mob Bosses to describe the Elder Bosses who happened to sport handle bar mustaches. The image conjured up with the mention of “Mustache Pete” was not something all the owners were enthralled over. LaRue, specifically, was transported to an Old West Saloon, “Belly up boys!” She worked in a little research time and was able to find the first “Mustache Pete” from Sicily to arrive on Ellis Island was Gus Morello. Ballots were then given to locals to vote for their favorite Italian restaurant name. Options were Ciro’s, Morello’s, and Mustache Pete. Each time the ballots were counted, Morello’s came in first and Mustache Pete dead last. Democracy at work.