The family behind Aliano's Ristorante in Batavia thanked their supporters this past weekend and tried to reassure skeptics after being cleared in a Health Department investigation.
Last Thursday, Sept. 20, marked the first time the downtown Italian restaurant, 90 N. Island Ave., had been opened since Sept. 14. Co-owners Phil and Mario Aliano decided to voluntarily close so that the Kane County Health Department could determine if there was any link to six salmonella cases reported in the area.
The Health Department found no such connection to the salmonella cases. The restaurant received a clean bill of health after its employees tested negative twice and a routine health inspection of the building conducted on Sept. 20, said Tom Schlueter, county health department spokesman.
The Alianos are appreciative of the customers that have returned since they have reopened for business. Regulars and other fans came out to order their favorite dishes over the weekend.
"The Aliano Family and staff would like to send a heartfelt thank you to all of our loyal patrons, friends and the City of Batavia," said a message posted Friday on the restaurant's Facebook page. "We are truly blessed. Tonight we experienced such an overwhelming show of support that deeply touched us all ... Our sincerest thanks to all, we look forward to (many) years of service and friendship."
The Alianos want to reassure people that their food is completely safe, healthy and delicious. They do not want people to think differently of the restaurant because of the investigation.
Some residents were quick to judge the restaurant on Facebook as soon as the investigation was reported. Another person, going under the login name "The Bulldog," said he or she will never patronize the restaurant again in a comment left Sunday under the Batavia Patch story announcing their reopening.
Phil Aliano's wife Sarah responded to The Bulldog, recounting the hard work and time that the family puts into the restaurant:
"My husband, Phillip Aliano, is a former educator himself and cancer survivor. When he beat cancer, I promised to support him in all his dreams—this restaurant is his dream. With the help of his brother Mario, they have made it happen. The Bulldog—I can guarantee you that my husband would never do anything to jeopardize his dream. Phil works in the kitchen daily; there are not many restaurants where you see an owner in the back doing quality control on a daily basis."
The restaurant is moving full steam ahead with business as they approach their one-year anniversary in December:
- Aliano's continued its Bears gameday promotions on Sunday—raffle prizes included an authentic Bears jersey.
- Impersonator Vito Zatto will entertain guests this Saturday night, Sept. 29, at the restaurant.
- The restaurant has hosted Vino Van Gogh events in the past.
Read other comments about Aliano's in our previous story.