Our Story

Franchesco’s Ristorante was originally established on October 10, 1986. This date is significant, as it was exactly 20 years to the day that Frank, Anna, Benny and Charlie Salamone sailed past the Statue of Liberty, after a week long trek across the Atlantic, from the little village of Aragona, Sicily. The date was October 10, 1966.

After much sacrifice, and determined to live the American Dream, our “Nonno Francesco”, Frank Salamone and his two sons, Benny and Charlie,  successfully opened Franchesco’s Pizzeria in Cherry Valley, IL. Over the next 22 years, the Franchesco’s “restaurant” family was born, a supportive and loyal customer base that still lives and eats Franchesco’s.  The countless relationships and loving memories created during that period were everlasting.

In 2008, after much speculation and a productive real estate proposition, Franchesco’s Pizzeria reluctantly closed; the pre-conceived vision, however, did not. Our father Benny’s longtime dream of building his beautiful restaurant in Rockford, IL was now possible, though, it  still hinged on two important factors that quickly came to life. 

First and foremost, he realized the importance of family support. Our father's approach to this life-altering decision to us girls was simple….pursue our current goals or "go all-in" with Mom & Dad. His passion shone through and our choice was an easy one.

Financing was the second key factor. Tom and Denise Larson, longtime customers and family friends, welcomed the idea of joining our father and his new venture. The thought of building a restaurant and banquet facility in Rockford, IL, with the beauty and excellence that was only afforded the finest restaurants, was clearly envisioned by us all. Tom and Denise’s beliefs and ideas in the project were crucial elements during the creation phases of Franchesco’s.

 With everything in place, and great anticipation from our public, FRANCHESCO’S RISTORANTE “the dream”, became reality on May 18th, 2009.

Beauty, Innovation, and culinary perfection, only begin to describe the new Franchesco’s Ristorante. A new generation of Salamone’s and a finely tuned management and waitstaff ensemble, promise to deliver on our customers’ demanding expectations. Our continued strive towards excellence; will only ensure our ability to grow our Franchesco’s Ristorante family.

The Girls