Several large pizza and Italian food chains have announced their intentions on moving into the Valley in the coming months. From Marco’s Pizza to Fazoli’s Real Italian, metro Phoenix is going to see an influx of these chains popping up in the coming year. And now, there’s another restaurant that’s entering its name into the fold, although instead of originating in Ohio and Kentucky (which is the case for Marco’s and Fazoli’s), this chain was born and raised in Houston, Texas.
Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Italian Kitchen was created by Anthony Russo, the son of first-generation Italian immigrants. Hew grew up in New Jersey where he spent most of his time in the kitchen, learning to make family recipes brought over from Italy. His family eventually moved to Texas, where his dad opened Russo’s Italian Restaurant. While Anthony worked in the restaurant’s kitchen beginning at the age of 12, he had sights on opening his own restaurant. By 1992, he did just that, opening Russo’s New York Pizzeria in downtown Houston, Texas.
Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Italian Kitchen since then has continually focused on using quality, hand-selected ingredients, all while expanding its footprint. The restaurant now has a 56-unit franchise, and there are eight new locations set to open before the end of the year. In recent years, the restaurant has moved into California, where it is currently growing. And, as California grows, the restaurant chain has set its sights on Arizona.
In a recent interview, and as reported by franchise insider magazine QSR, there are plans to open anywhere from 10 to 15 Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Italian Kitchens throughout metro Phoenix. Eventual openings should not be far off, as the franchise is currently looking into real estate locations in both Tempe and Glendale.
The restaurant is best known for its New York-style pizzas. All of the sauce is made fresh and from scratch, using Sicilian extra-virgin, cold-press olive oil, fresh herbs, and ripe tomatoes. Additionally, the restaurant works with local farmers whenever possible to bring in local vegetables and hormone-free toppings. Pizza is sold in a number of sizes. Pizza is available by the slice, although full-sized pizzas start at 12 inches. 16-inch Large pizzas can be purchased in both circular and square shapes. There is also a “Giant” 28-inch party pizza. Other menu options include pastas, calzones, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. There is also a kid's menu available.
Additional information about official openings and addresses should come in the coming months.