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Vince's begins work on new restaurant in Monroe
Drawing supplied The new Vinces Restaurant and Pizzeria at 619 Fourth Ave. in Monroe will include seating for 90 guests inside and patio seating for about 20. Owners Fabio and Maria Grado plan to have the restaurant open by the end of 2008.
MONROE - Food is their thing.

Fabio and Maria Grado take food and family together. They came by it naturally - both grew up in the restaurant business.

By the end of 2008, they hope to do the same for their growing family.

In front of a ballet of excavating equipment Wednesday at 619 Fourth Ave., the Grados explained why the start of their new 4,000-square-foot Vince's Restaurant and Pizzeria is more than an expansion of their business into fine Italian dining, pizza dining and takeout.

Grado says he needs to expand, "based on my customers." Employing 18 people now, the new restaurant will need at least 14 more.

The new building will let him seat 90, with outside patio seating for 20 more.

But the "big deal" he said is "to bring my wife and kids with me - to spend more time together."

Working the way he does at his present site on First Avenue, Grado says he doesn't get to see his family, who is at home.

Maria Grado is looking forward to bringing their children to work.

"This is going to have my kids part of this business, the way it was with my parents," she said.

The kids are 7, 5 and 2.

Maria pictures the oldest, Rosangela, bringing menus to customers, the way she did at the same age. There are age-appropriate responsibilities for Marilena, also. Arianna, the youngest, just needs to be watched for a while yet, Maria said with a smile.

Fabio and Maria are third-generation restaurant owners, Fabio said.

Fabio, 33, also started in the family business at a young age.

"Since I was 6 - I mean it," he said.

Maria said she still enjoys going with her children to her father's restaurant in Beloit, where she knows all the customers. They know her, too.

"We all know each other," she said.

The Grados want to duplicate that environment in Monroe, giving new meaning to the term "family restaurant."