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New South Hall restaurant serves up taste of Chicago and Sicily
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Danny and Judy Raciti's pizza restaurant in South Hall, Rachetti's, features authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza to go along with their extensive Italian menu. The couple also own another Rachetti's restaurant in Coal City, Ill. - photo by Scott Rogers

When Danny Raciti takes a bite of his restaurant’s homestyle pizza, he thinks of home.

Having opened Rachetti’s Cafe and Pizzeria on April 5 at 7437 Spout Springs Road in South Hall neat Chateau Elan, Raciti delivers his family history in the form of steaming Italian-American dishes.

“I hope to bring Hall County an authentic flare of Italian-American food with a Chicago-style feel to it,” Raciti said.

Raciti, who co-owns the restaurant with his wife, opened the first Rachetti’s Cafe and Pizzeria 12 years ago in Coal City, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He currently travels back and forth to the Illinois location to check up on the business.

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Davonna Bills gets the bar area ready for business Monday, April 15, 2019, at Rachetti's in South Hall County. The restaurant features authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza to go along with their extensive Italian menu. The restaurant is located at 7437 Spout Springs Road near Chateau Elan. - photo by Scott Rogers

He said the name of the restaurant was inspired by the 12th century version of his surname Raciti, which reads as Rachetti.

Most of its recipes, including the dough and marinara sauce, date back four generations.

Raciti said his father’s side of the family settled into the Chicago area from Catania, Sicily. After his mother married into a Sicilian family, he said she quickly adopted the cuisine.

“My mom was Irish and from Iowa,” he said. “She became pretty Itlalian after six months of dealing with my grandmother.”

Some of Raciti’s inherited signature dishes at his restaurant include the Chicago deep-dish pizza, lasagna and Italian beef sandwich. Other items on his restaurant’s menu include cannolis, pasta, calzones, salads and gelatos.  

One popular dessert that doesn’t have the imprint of Raciti’s parents and grandparents is the chocolate cake.

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Rachetti’s restaurant in South Hall features a full bar and authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza to go along with its extensive Italian menu. The restaurant is located at 7437 Spout Springs Road near Chateau Elan. - photo by Scott Rogers

“Judy (Raciti’s wife) makes a chocolate cake that, if she wasn’t my wife, I’d want her to be my wife just for the cake,” Raciti said. “It’s just that good.”

A couple of years ago Raciti opened up his second restaurant location in Jefferson, but he later closed down due to building issues in January 2018.

Raciti decided to give it another go this year with the Flowery Branch location. He said the draw to the area was mostly because of his wife, who grew up visiting Lake Lanier.

“We’ve wanted to bring food here all along,” Raciti said. “I’m Southernized. I love it down here.”

Pizza prices at Rachetti's' Cafe and Pizzeria range from $9.09 to $28.99, depending on the type and size of pizza. The business offers delivery options to those in the Flowery Branch area.

Starting on Sunday, April 28, the restaurant will hold Sunday brunches from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This entails an a la carte menu and a bottomless sangria, bloody mary and mimosa bar.

Raciti describes the atmosphere at his business as “casual, relaxed and family friendly.”

“I think overall it’s about bringing people something that’s more than just fast food or fast-casual,” Raciti said. “It’s different than anything else around.”

Rachetti’s Cafe and Pizzeria

Where: 7437 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch

Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday

Contact: 470-655-1515

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Danny and Judy Raciti's pizza restaurant in South Hall, Rachetti's, features authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza to go along with its extensive Italian menu. The restaurant is located at 7437 Spout Springs Road near Chateau Elan. - photo by Scott Rogers
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Danny and Judy Raciti's pizza restaurant in South Hall, Rachetti's, features and authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza to go along with its extensive Italian menu. - photo by Scott Rogers
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