Bill insists on fresh, homemade food when possible, and almost everything from Pepperoni Bill’s fits the bill.
“Big dreams come true with hard work.” are words that describe the life of Pepperoni Bill Herholzer. He’s living a dream inspired by pizza, patience, and pasta. That dream didn’t include serving anything less than the very best so Bill has taken the time to learn and practice. He has also invested in the best ingredients to deliver the best tastes.
Family and associates are just as important in making Bill’s dreams come true. His grandmother, mother, and aunt made good food the right way. They used quality ingredients to make fresh, authentic food, and Bill learned from them. He also studied the art of pizza crusts before opening Pepperoni Bill’s in 2013.
At Pepperoni Bill’s, diners can choose between an original, thicker crust and a thin crust, both golden and delicious. Those with gluten sensitivities can order a cauliflower crust, one of the few items not made in-house but one tested before being offered on the menu.
Bill insists on fresh, homemade food when possible, and almost everything from Pepperoni Bill’s fits the bill. Herholzer bakes bread, pita pockets, and pizza crusts daily. He also prepares Italian beef and sausages, gyro meat, and meatballs in-house. The sauces, including red, alfredo, and tzatziki, are equally fresh and locally made. For all menu items made by Pepperoni Bill’s, the difference is in the depth and breadth of flavors. Every bite delivers wholesome foods, rich in taste.
Pepperoni Bill purchased a pasta maker from Italy and has begun to make Linguini, Fusilli, and Rigatoni. Each begins as a mixture of semolina, flour imported from Italy, eggs, and olive oil, and each can be ordered with one of those authentic in-house sauces, using tomatoes fresh-packed without preservatives. Red, White, and Blue “gravy” or sauce — a blended Alfredo and red pasta sauce — is one of the restaurant’s best sellers.
The right way at Pepperoni Bill’s involves staff as well. Bill enjoys a stable staff, thanks to his respect for their labor and contributions. He understands that staff turnover affects service and product so Bill has committed to make the restaurant a place where staff thrives in order to make only the best available to customers.
Bringing the best to customers motivated Bill to expand when 5,000 square feet of adjacent space became available two years ago. The goal is to shorten wait times for tables during the busiest hours.
Since taking possession of the additional space, Bill has been working with architects and planners to secure permits. These were granted November 16, 2018, and with that hurdle cleared, Bill will begin to replicate the cozy Chicago alley theme of the original restaurant. Using 12 years’ experience as a mason, Bill completed the original brickwork and stucco effect in the current restaurant space. He will do the same in the new space, a task that may require 10-12 months to complete.
The new space will be divided in half. About 2,500 square feet will provide seating for at least 60, a new freezer, and a new cooler in additional kitchen space. Another 2,500 square feet will provide for a community room where groups can meet.
Until the space is ready for service, Bill plans to move the pasta and bread machines to the windows facing the parking lot along Business Highway 5 South. Passersby can watch Bill working early each morning to bring freshly baked Ciabatta bread and authentic pasta to diners’ tables later in the day.
In addition to being committed to excellence and freshly-made foods, Bill has a keen sense of humor. In the original space is a specially designed manhole with the business name on it. Bill has a second in reserve for the expansion. Both might blast air upward--just like underground passages on big city sidewalks sometimes do, and just as those underground blasts surprise people walking above, Bill may surprise his customers for their entertainment.
YouTube is another place where Bill’s hard work and wit are on display. He may appear as Neanderthal Joe or as himself on his way to a local event. He may also break out into song from behind the counter separating the pizza oven from diners. Sparkling lights dancing from disco balls add to the restaurant’s fun, too.
Another treat at Pepperoni Bill’s is a choice in entertainment. By facing one direction while seated, diners can study YouTube videos teaching customers to make pasta while in the other direction, customers can watch the game of the day as they wait for freshly made, in-house goodness brought to the table by valued staff.