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SCHERERVILLE | An Italian beef and Italian sausage restaurant beloved in the South Suburbs for more than four decades is finally opening a Northwest Indiana location.

Enzo's Restaurant, which is known for charbroiling freshly house-made sausage over lump coal, is taking over the former Schererville Gyros, which closed earlier this year. The restaurant's first location outside of its home base of Chicago Heights will be at 1120 U.S. 30 in Schererville, and open sometime next month.

Owners Lisa Hallberg, her husband Kevin Hallberg and their son Kyle Hallberg have big expansion plans for the business, which they took over in 2011 after founders Enzo and Nita retired.

Enzo was an Italian immigrant who built the restaurant's brick oven by hand and sought out the best ingredients he could afford to grind and stuff his sausages. The recipes haven't changed, but the new generation has added new menu items like thin and deep-dish pizza made with plum tomatoes that they sell by the slice.

The Hallbergs want to open a few more locations in Northwest Indiana and the South Suburbs, and eventually a location downtown in the Loop. The goal is to show they can successfully operate several locations at once so they can franchise the restaurant concept to anyone who's interest in opening an Enzo's of their own.

"We want to aggressively open in Northwest Indiana and around Illinois," Lisa Hallberg said.

Currently, the restaurant employs 10 at its flagship location at 1710 Chicago Road in Chicago Heights. Lisa Hallberg estimates they will need to hire about 10 more at the Schererville location, which will open sometime next month after some renovations.

Anyone who's interested in a job should go the Chicago Heights location and ask for an application.

"We have a lot of customers who moved out to Northwest Indiana, who have been begging us to move out there," she said.

The restaurant also offers catering and sells its house-made sausage.

"We have the simple Italian philosophy of buying the best ingredients we can afford to make great food," she said. "We only use top-quality pork butt and extra virgin olive oil. This is our passion."

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.