Can you say that you will be the co-owner of the job you started when you were 14 – if you had a job at 14? That’s exactly what Andy Doyle, co-owner of Italian Village is doing. “I started working here in high school. I was 14 and started just helping out, cleaning and eventually I started making pizzas and working up front when we were open, I had a love for working here,” said Andy Doyle.
“From as early as I can remember, my family would go to Italian Village and eat, and I would watch the workers make the pizza; I thought it was pretty neat to be a part of that when I was hired,” said Doyle. Lou Pavlik, original owner of Italian Village, started out working at a pizza place in Macomb, moved to Monmouth and opened Italian Village in 1956 and since then, Italian Village has become a staple in the Monmouth community.
Doyle stated that Italian Village has a history here in Monmouth and he really wanted to be a part of that. “As soon as I started working, it was like I was one of the ‘guys.’ People would come and pick up pizzas and they always stopped and talked to you,” Doyle said.
Doyle felt that it was a neat way to feel involved in the community and meet a lot of the members of the community. Doyle had the opportunity to buy the restaurant after graduating college and was able to maintain the tradition that also plays a big role at Italian Village. Some of those who worked with Pavlik and are still currently working at Italian Village and have been there for 30 to 40 years. When alumni come back to Monmouth for homecoming, football games and other college events, they want to stop by Italian Village and remember the same pizza they had while they were in college. Alumni want to taste the same pizza they had as a college student, because the recipes have not changed. Doyle stated that Monmouth College is a huge benefit to the community. Before stepping foot into the restaurant, you can tell that Italian Village has connections with Monmouth College; as Lou Pavlik was one of the founders of The Fighting Scots Society. A mural on the brick wall outside of the restaurant has “Italian Village” written across the top with a Fighting Scot and “This is Fighting Scots Country” is painted next to it. When you walk into the restaurant, a Fighting Scots Football helmet hangs above the cash register, a Monmouth College blanket hangs on the opposite wall, and a large picture of Wallace Hall hangs on the back wall. Doyle went to undergraduate school at University of Illinois and attended Northern Illinois University for his law degree and he is currently the Warren County States Attorney.
Alison Barrington – Staff Writer