In 1986, the Gailloreto family opened its first restaurant at 450 E. Devon, Itasca called The Gourmet Cafe & Deli. Other locations preceding were located in Oak Brook, another in Itasca and Arlington Heights. All family owned and operated, each was located in an office building serving the tenant Monday through Friday. After moving to Marengo in 1993, we (Rocco & Sally Gailloreto) always thought this would be a good town to some day open a restaurant. After purchasing 125 South State Street, we decided it was time to do just that.
We wanted to break away from the corporate name, Gourmet Cafe & Deli, and open a shop with an Illinois flavor offering products produced in Illinois such as cheeses, coffee and wine. Flatlander Market became our new identity in February 2005. Living and having a business in Marengo, we got involved in many community events. M.O.R.E. Pantry, Angel Tree Project and being a supporter of Settlers' Day's were top on our list of community outreach.
This location has certainly given us many exciting and troublesome events over the past fifteen years. Just before starting to develop the restaurant space, a deer broke through the front door and out to the alley by crashing through the small glass panel next to the back door. We were invited to be on the Jonathan Brandmeier show with the potato chip nativity that Rocco created, which made the trop down with us too. When there was a rash of businesses broken into downtown in 2018, we were unfortunately among those who were vandalized. We were very fortunate to appear in the American Express Small Business Saturday commercial for three years straight. The most recent event being the fire in the alley that closed us down for six months. We used this time to make some subtle changes to the interior to give a fresh look. We can honestly say that this location has kept us on our toes.
The building in which we are located was built in the mid 1850s and is best known for having the longest running operation (a men's clothing store) from 1853 'til 1996. In tribute, our store's decor reflects much of the building's history, from the 12' high ceiling and original period lighting. The building is also registered with the State of Illinois Preservation Commission for having a Mesker facade. Look around at some of the classic advertisements and antiques along with some historic collectibles we have on display.
In addition to our daily menu, we offer catering. We have a private party room and the ability to reserve the whole store for meeting and special events. Allow us to create a custom menu for your specific desires.
We are proud to be a chamber member and strive to continue to serve our loyalty customers with friendly, fast service and great food.