Adriano Ivo Esteves, simply known as “Ivo”, was born on July 15, 1955 in the small poor village of Ingarnal in the Castelo Branco district of Portugal.
He opened his first restaurant at the age of 16, called “A Adega das Caves”, in Sintra while studying in Lisbon. At 18, Adriano joined the Portuguese Navy, became an officer and in 1975 partook in the non-violent Carnation Revolution. In the winter of 1978 Adriano along with his wife, Alice migrated to Elizabeth, NJ.
Immediately, Adriano became active within the Elizabeth Portuguese Community as a member of the PISC, playing midfielder in the the local Portuguese Soccer league and a parishioner at Our Lady of Fatima Church. In 1979, he had his first child Hugo and in 1983, his daughter Jacqueline, both born in Elizabeth. Adriano worked at the Singer factory, the Flamingo Bakery and various Portuguese restaurants to support his family. He was avid support of the Portuguese community, urging members to help each other and grow together many times engaging with the Italian and Cuban communities of Elizabeth. Believing in the opportunities of Elizabeth, he advised his siblings and his wife’s families to join his family in Elizabeth. In 1988, he opened his first restaurant, La Paella, on Grier Ave serving Portuguese and Spanish cuisine and it became a base of gathering for the Portuguese Community. His strong need to be around his family caused him to leave the restaurant industry and open Sintra Construction in 1991 which remains active to this day.
Although extensively active within the community, Adriano preferred being in the background, typically not seeking extensive public attention. He would assist many people with their personal or professional endeavors and was satisfied with simply donating his time, knowledge and humor. A constant familiar face, he would be seen engaging at PISC gatherings, church events and City initiatives leading the charge, giving a helping hand or in a happy conversation. His employees consistently credit his willingness to share his knowledge as the reason for their achievements in their own lives.
He was an assistant coach in the Elizabeth Youth Soccer League for several years, became a director at the PISC, donated resources to restore the Our Lady of Fatima church, donated time to the Elizabeth Portuguese Leo Club and offered his food service expertise with PISC events. He taught his children to partake in the community leading each to attend the Portuguese school at PISC, become members at the PISC, become officers in the Elizabeth Portuguese LEO Club, Portugal Day Pageant, Portuguese Lions Club, Nova Mocidade and other youth groups and both owning successful businesses in town. Most of his family still resides in Elizabeth today.
The many friends and business associates he attained within Portuguese community members continue to remark on his compassion, strong leadership, sound advice and uplifting personality. His positive influence on the community can be seen among the members his large group of family and friends.
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