If you’ve watched TLC’s “sMothered,” a reality show about close mother/ daughter relationships, you’ve seen Carlo and Cristina Bertolli. Although Cristina and her mother, Kathy Crispino, are one of the featured mother/ daughter duos, the show also focuses on the married couple Carlo and Cristina.
Currently, the Bertollis are opening their own restaurant called Pizzaboy Pizzeria Italiano. The new pizzeria will be located in the Edison Park neighborhood (6694 N. Northwest Hwy) of Chicago. The Bertollis hope to serve guests delicious pizza and ambiance.
How did you get involved in the food industry?
Carlo: My dad has owned Bertolli’s Pizza in River Forest, Ill. for 40 years. I grew up in that restaurant. I felt like I literally lived there as a kid, teenager, and adult.
Cristina: My family also owned a restaurant in Chicago. I have a little bit of a restaurant background.
Why did you want to leave Bertolli’s Pizza and open your own restaurant?
Carlo: I felt like it was my time to grow. The new restaurant is going to be called Pizzaboy Pizzeria Italiano.
Cristina: Carlo wanted to expand and make the business a lot bigger. Carlo thought it was the best time to move forward.
When do you think Pizzaboy Pizzeria Italiano will open?
Carlo: The restaurant will open sometime in October or November.
How will Pizzaboy Pizzeria Italiano be different from Bertolli’s Pizza?
Carlo: Basically, Pizzaboy Pizzeria Italiano will be like an old-school pizza place with a modern feel. Cristina is decorating the place. We’re going to sell pizza by the slice. It’s going to be Chicago and New York style pizza.
Cristina: We’re bringing a little bit of New York to Chicago. People can purchase a slice of pizza on the spot. We’re going to have a lot more salads on the menu as well as sandwiches. On top of that, we’ll be serving gelato.
Why did you choose the Edison Park neighborhood?
Carlo: We live in Norridge, so it’s close to home. It’s always been a location where I wanted to own a restaurant.
Cristina: We love the feel and the community there. We feel like it’s a young, hip, neighborhood.
What are you hoping people take away from Pizzaboy Pizzeria Italiano?
Cristina: I hope people will say, “that was the best damn slice of pizza I’ve ever had!” Also, I hope people will love the atmosphere. My mom, Carlo, and I will be at the restaurant to meet our customers.
Carlo: We want people to come in and feel like they’re at home.
Will there be a third season of “sMothered?”
Cristina: It hasn’t been officially confirmed, but I think we will know very soon if it’s a go! It sounds like the show wants to be a part of the opening of our new restaurant.
What advice would you give to other couples?
Cristina: If you are a newlywed, or someone who’s been married for years, my parents always taught me to make time for your significant other. That could mean going out to dinner or seeing a movie at least once a week. It’s important to make time for each other.
Carlo: Cristina and I are raising kids together and starting a business. Life can be insane. You have to work together and get away once in a while.