Plan to Widen Harrison Forces Restaurant to Move

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A Rockford restaurant that's been serving customers from the same spot for 25 years will have to move to make way for some much needed road improvements on Harrison Avenue.

Villa di Roma located at Harrison Avenue and 11th Street is on the list of buildings that will be demolished so crews can widen Harrison Avenue from 9th Street to 20th Street. In all, 29 buildings will come down for the project. It’s expected to start in 2015. Rockford city council voted Monday to give the Owner of Villa di Roma about a million dollars for his two buildings. The city will pay $212,000 and the rest will come from the state of Illinois.

"It’s nice, making the road better, because it’s really trouble. The road is so bad, lots of people lost their car, every single day people are in the parking lot with broken cars because of the road," says Antonino Buscemi, owner of Villa di Roma.

Buscemi says he plans to reopen his restaurant but he isn’t sure if it will remain in the area around Harrison Avenue. The widening and reconstructing of Harrison is expected to cost $20 million.


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