THE HISTORY OF ROMA™ RESTAURANTIN NORTHERN COLORADO
On October 19, 1988 Chris and Toni Allison opened their first ROMA™ restaurant when they purchased the original Santeramo’s Pizza House Restaurant on 8th Ave. and 16th St.. That first year Toni was teaching in Thornton, CO and split her time between Greeley and their home in Broomfield, teaching during the week and working at the restaurant on the weekends.
Chris became a full time resident of Greeley when they rented a studio apartment across the street from the restaurant. With a minimal number of part-time employees (3), Chris worked open to close, doing all the daily food prep, cooking, and often taking the customers orders, cooking their food, and then cleaning up afterward. In order to give Chris a few hours "off" on Sundays, Toni would run the restaurant. As this was before cell phones, and the cost of another phone line was prohibitive, Toni used the beer light in the front window as a signal to alert Chris if she became busy enough to need his help. This was the beginning of a true "mom and pop" restaurant that took Chris's full attention and Toni's help over the next two years with no "real" days off. As the years went by the 8th Ave. ROMA™ location became a favorite "hang out" for UNC students. They came with coupons in hand for the good food, Bazooka™ beers, and great low prices.
Many of those original customers return today with fond memories of their years at UNC and experiences at ROMA™. Some of those customers became friends and employees.
With the ongoing success of the downtown location, Chris and Toni decided to expand and offer Greeley, and all those former UNC students that stayed and moved to the west side of town, another location. So, on June 27, 2003, ROMA™ West opened at 10th St. and 59th Ave.
Then, in the fall of 2013, amidst a flood that halted and held the City of Evans on hold for most of that September Chris and Toni, once again, opened a third ROMA™ Restaurant at 3625 23rd Ave. A complete build out, turning a fitness studio into a restaurant was the biggest challenge yet.
In October of 2015 the newest ROMA™ opened in Windsor. As the largest of the ROMA™ restaurants, customers will find the same open kitchen concept, friendly staff, great food available for dine-in or take out, and a great price that they have come to expect and love. Additionally, the customer can enjoy beverages at the bar, watch "the game" on TV, or use the extra space for small gatherings with family or friends.
Since 1988 more than 900 people have worked with and for Chris and Toni. Numerous ROMA™ romances have been instigated and celebrated including Chris and Toni's story that began when they met while working together at a ROMA Restaurant in Thornton, CO in 1983.
Chris and Toni are proud and humbled by the fact that for multiple years now the citizens of Greeley have voted their restaurants as having "The Best Pizza" in Weld County and will strive to continue this tradition for many years to come. Through an ongoing dedication to making and serving good food at a great price and hiring employees that "love" ROMA™ as much as they do, Chris and Toni were able to turn a business that made $82 in sales its first day into four busy restaurants.
In late 2016, Chris and Toni approached their son, Christopher and long-time manager Josh Ball about taking over the businesses, allowing them to retire. Josh and Christopher have known each other for years and were honored for the opportunity to carry on the ROMA™ legacy. In 2017, Josh Ball and Christopher Allison took ownership of the West Greeley, Evans, and Windsor locations. Chris and Toni are now able to enjoy retirement and free pizza. Christopher and Josh are both adamant that they don't want to change any of the foundation ROMA™ was built.