A Lockport pizzeria reveals Terry Broadhurst’s love of family and hockey – and the values they’ve instilled.
When Chicago Wolves left wing Terry Broadhurst was in middle school, his family moved from Evergreen Park to Lockport. Maps insist these south suburban communities are just 25 miles apart.
But going from a community right next to Chicago to a town a few miles north of Joliet? That might as well have been relocating from Alaska to Hawaii, especially for Terry’s father, Terry Jr., who counts himself as a fourth-generation South Sider.
“I grew up in Blue Island,” said 47-year-old Terry Jr. “When I was growing up, there were several places that had great pizza, pasta and sandwiches. I’d eat there three or four times a week. You’d walk in and they’d know your family, your parents, your grandparents. But sometimes that wasn’t a good thing, right?”
Terry Jr. chuckles at memories of the entire neighborhood knowing when he’d gotten into mischief, but it was no laughing matter when the Broadhursts (including Terry Jr.’s wife, Valerie, and their younger son, Alex) scoured Lockport in vain for the Italian food they love. Especially the pizza.
“We gave everybody the benefit of the doubt,” he said. “Tried everybody more than once.”
Finally, Terry Jr. decided he couldn’t do without the food any longer. Every morning when he drove Terry and Alex to St. Dennis School, they’d pass a pizza slice-shaped building at the five-corner intersection in the old part of Lockport that couldn’t seem to lure a successful business.
“I told them, ‘If that building goes up for rent one more time, I’m going to open a pizza place,’ ” Terry Jr. said. “If nothing else, it’s for our family to eat pizza once a week.”
Pizzeria At The Point was born – and all of the Broadhursts got involved. When Terry and Alex weren’t hitting the books or playing youth hockey, they were helping out at the restaurant.
“When I started, I was only allowed to wash dishes, so I woke up a lot of mornings with my hands smelling like bleach,” said Terry, who remembered eating pizza every night for three months straight while the family figured out the proper recipe.
“Eventually I got into the pizza-making role. Once I got my driver’s license, I delivered pizzas. I learned how to do everything in high school. I was kind of managing the place.
“What we think has always separated it from other places is the freshness. It’s authentic South Side Italian pizza. That’s what we go for. The dough is made fresh in the store every day. Sausage delivered fresh every day. Vegetables are cut fresh every day. We have traditional thin crust pizza, we have stuffed pizza, we have deep-dish pizza. We have beef sandwiches. Chicago-style hot dogs. The list goes on and on.”
Pizzeria At The Point lasted for several years in its original slice-shaped building, but it was primarily a carryout place with few seats. In 2011, the Broadhursts moved to a two-acre spread off Route 171 that allowed them to transform their restaurant into something even bigger to share with the community.
If you want pizza without any social interaction, then Pizzeria At The Point might not be your spot. The new place has a sand volleyball court, a fire pit, and ample space for the frequent Friday night car shows when the weather’s warm. During the winter, Terry Jr. floods half of the parking lot and turns it into a rink fit for hockey players and skaters. Inside, there’s plenty of room for families to sit down and eat…when they’re not playing foosball or bubble hockey or pool.
“I’m able to share it with my friends to this day,” Terry said. “For my dad, it’s not his main source of income, so he kind of looks at it as his country club. It’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s been fun.”
“I say, ‘Some people join a country club. I built mine,’ ” Terry Jr. said. “I guess I’m old-fashioned. It’s our 14th year and I still enjoy picking up the phone and recognizing the voice on the other end. We want to know our customers’ names. We engage the community. This is our passion. We eat and breathe the pizza place.”
It’s fair to say Terry Jr. hasn’t just tried to bring Chicago-style pizza to Lockport, he has tried to provide the link between family and food he has enjoyed his entire life. Either he or Valerie (or both) works at the restaurant seven days a week – unless they’re at Allstate Arena to watch 26-year-old Terry play for the Wolves or at the MetroCentre to see 22-year-old Alex play for the Rockford IceHogs.
It’s a work ethic he inherited from his own father – the original Terry Broadhurst – an electrician who also handled maintenance for several properties. Terry Jr. became a union carpenter right out of high school before developing his own construction business. They’ve passed that blue-collar work ethic and sensibility down to Terry and Alex.
“It was my dream as a kid to be just like my dad,” Terry Jr. said. “My brothers would go out and play and I’d go to work with my dad. Terry (III), when he was a little kid, he had his flannel shirt, his hard hat, his toolbox, his key chain on his belt. He wanted to look just like me and my dad.”
When Terry and Alex were teenagers, their dad wouldn’t let them run around with their friends on the weekend until they did some chores or helped him with a job. If he was building a house, he’d have the boys at the job site moving piles of wood or bags of concrete.
“My brother and I were laborers,” Terry said. “We hated every minute of it, but he’d always say, ‘Hey, this is your workout for the day. You’re getting stronger.’ We were taught to have a good work ethic, to always be grateful for what you have, and to always understand that you have to earn what you get.”
That’s the spirit that led to Terry and Alex developing the Keep The Dream Alive Foundation three years ago when they turned pro. While it’s a relatively low-key operation, the Broadhurst brothers (usually in conjunction with Pizzeria At The Point) run golf outings, Toys for Tots drives and other fundraisers designed to help out local children in their pursuit of Academics, Art and Athletics.
“We’re a blue-collar family from the South Side of Chicago,” Terry said. “It took not just our parents, but a lot of people, to help us achieve what we’ve achieved. Granted, we’re still working to get toward our goal of playing in the NHL, but we have come a long way. I think both of us have always had that idea of giving back instilled in us by our parents. When we made it to pro hockey, we thought, ‘Why not do it?’ It’s a great way to bring our friends and family together.
“Our idea always has been that we may be starting it, but we want it to be something that everybody can get involved in.”