If you’ve never met the man behind the Rizzuto’s restaurant group of fun Italian restaurants throughout Connecticut, here’s a little background on how the Rizzuto’s brand came to be. Hotelier/Restaurateur, Bill Rizzuto’s foyer into the hospitality industry began in Las Vegas, where at Bally‘s, he re-conceptualized eight restaurants, revamping food concepts, menus and service detail. With a clear talent for producing food service establishments on a grand scale, Bill took his knowledge and ideas to Disney where he was brought on to open the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel at Epcot Center, working with Disney to create their signature high concept restaurants, bars, and banquet and convention facilities.
Hyatt Hotels Northeast Division lured Bill home to New York as Regional Director of Food and Beverage. Among his major accomplishments was the expansion of Hyatt’s off-premise catering division, establishing his company as the exclusive caterer at the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum, and preferred caterer at venues including Grand Central Station and Chelsea Piers. Bill went on to manage Hyatt hotels in Greenwich and San Francisco.
In 2004 Bill took his passion for Italian food and hospitality and created the Rizzuto’s Wood-Fired Restaurant concept – a concept that is still going strong today. With locations in Bethel, West Hartford, Stamford and Westport, Bill has put together a talented team of restaurant industry professionals to help him grow and improve upon the Rizzuto’s brand.
The Bethel Location was Bill’s founding location. In 2004 he opened with a simple concept; A family restaurant with simple, quality Italian food and brick oven pizza, great value, within a casual atmosphere. In 2008 Rizzuto’s opened its second location in West Hartford, CT’s Blue Back Square, a premiere retail, dining and entertainment district, reinforcing the Rizzuto’s concept as a place for great Italian food that the whole family could enjoy. In 2009, Bill opened in Westport, situated directly across from the Saugatuck River. In addition to the large patio and bar, now a signature of Rizzuto’s, this location also features a raw bar highlighting local seafood and has become the neighborhood hot spot for weekday happy hour! The fourth installment of Rizzuto’s popular brand of casual Italian dining opened in Stamford, CT in November of 2011, again offering quality food, great drink, friendly service and that undeniable energy one feels when they walk through the door of any Rizzuto’s Restaurant and Bar.
Bill is a constant presence in all 4 locations, rotating his time, often between multiple locations in the course of one day, overlooking the day to day operations. Food quality, consistency, service, and customer interaction remain top priorities for this seasoned restaurateur.
On your next visit to Rizzuto’s listen for the loudest laugh in the room or look for the guy with the biggest smile, and you will have found Bill Rizzuto.