Valerie Presto displays a pie at Riverside's Prestello's Pizza, which will moveto Forest Park next month.BOB UPHUES/Staff

Prestello’s Pizza of Riverside will be pulling up stakes and moving to Forest Park at the end of April.

Owner Valerie Presto confirmed the move last week, saying the new Prestello’s Pizza should be open by the first week of May at 7510 W. Madison St., formerly home to the Paciugo Gelato shop.

“It’s bigger and there’s so much more foot traffic. It’s such a big, big thing,” said Presto of the new location. There’s also no other pizza place on the Madison Street strip.

Presto and Dannette Massarello opened their doors just a year ago under the name Urban Leaf and Bean Café, a specialty coffee/tea shop, in the Arcade Building at 1 Riverside Road.

Last December, they added the pizza dimension to the business and said they hoped to expand the Italian food offerings in order to make Prestello’s a family-style restaurant. The kitchen space in the Arcade Building is very small, however.

“We’re always bumping into each other,” she said. “It’s not enough room.”

The business will leave the Arcade Building by April 30, when its lease expires.

The Forest Park space has a much bigger kitchen, in addition to a furnished dining area and, of course, the ice cream machine left by the previous tenant.

Italian food and pizza in particular seemed a natural, according to Presto, a self-proclaimed “pizza freak.”

Presto and her partner Dannette Massarello spent a night honing a pizza dough recipe, which had its origins in a recipe that came from Massarello’s Neapolitan grandmother last December. Riverside diners loved the homemade flavors.

“We stayed late making dough, combining recipes and finally got it down,” said Presto.

The two then began delivering sample pizzas to local businesses to get the word out.

Prestello’s hopes to expand its offerings beyond pizza to pastas, chicken dishes, sandwiches, soups and more.

“It will be all homemade,” said Presto. “This is the kind of stuff I eat. I just want people to enjoy a place with a family atmosphere.”

Presto said she hopes Prestello’s will become a place where families come for pizza and Italian cuisine. The business won’t have a liquor license, at least for now. The coffee/tea shop concept won’t be moving to Forest Park with them.

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