Reporting Mike Puccinelli
CICERO, Ill. (CBS) — A Cicero family pizzeria re-opens for business just one week after the owner was shot and killed in a robbery.
Gionna Donanacricchia died protecting his wife and pizza shop. Tonight, his family says they are carrying on his dream.
It seems like an ordinary day at Albanos Pizzeria in Cicero, but it’s actually extraordinary by virtue of the fact that Giovanni John Donancricchia was nowhere in sight.
“I think that is the hardest, not to hear his voice,” said Dolores Rodriguez.
His voice couldn’t be heard because more than a week ago Donancricchia was shot dead in the store he owned for more than 25 years. So this weekend for the first time since his murder, the business was opened in his honor.
“That’s what John would’ve wanted,” said Bill Fleisher, his son-in-law.
What he would have never wanted is be out of the kitchen where he had been more than 350 days a year for decades.
“He is probably not really happy that he is not here running the show because essentially he was the big chief,” said Fleisher.
A large memorial pays tribute to the murdered entrepreneur and others paid tribute by eating his food.
“He always showed us love,” said patron Theodis Smith.
Family Members say it was hard to reopen in the wake of the tragedy. But John’s widow was determined to reopen so that longtime employees, like Dolores Rodriguez, wouldn’t lose their jobs.
“With her loss, her great loss, she was thinking about her customers. She has got a great heart,” said Rodriguez.