The Russo family opened “Russo’s Italian Restaurant” in 1978, after moving from New York to Texas. Russo’s Italian Restaurant was a fine dining establishment that featured Russo family recipes passed down through generations, updated with a modern sensibility.
Anthony Russo is a first-generation Italian. Both parents immigrated from Sicily and Naples, to New York in 1962. From the early age of 12, Anthony spent plenty of time in the kitchen with his family and other influential Italian chefs, learning how to prepare fine Italian meals and New York-style pizza. ”
His dad’s phrase was: “If you can’t make it fresh, don’t serve it! In the early 90′s,Anthony opened up his first Italian restaurant in Clear Lake, Texas, called “Anthony’s Pizzeria.” Anthony’s goal was to bring the real New York-style pizza down to the Texas marketplace.
He knew that great New York-style pizza could be made anywhere by using quality ingredients, his family recipes, and a whole lot of passion.
Using his culinary experience, Anthony was able to blend the simplicity of the pizzeria with the freshness of the upscale Italian restaurant. It was at this time that the New York Pizzeria concept started to materialize. Anthony’s was able to serve high-quality food while providing a quick and casual dining experience.
The New York Pizzeria concept was introduced in 1992 in the Houston market in an area where most customers were from New York City, so they truly appreciated the New York pizza style, giant slices, and calzones in Texas.
Anthony also quickly gained recognition for his fresh Italian food and his affordable prices.
Later, Anthony expanded the New York Pizzeria concept into a franchise model. This is when the franchising business started. In 2008, Russo’s created a second restaurant concept called “Russo’s Coal-Fired Pizzeria,” which is also available as a franchise opportunity. Today Russo’s has over 30 locations, from Hawaii to Dubai. The Russo’s franchise concept has been launched nationally and internationally. Even as our franchise empire continues to expand, Anthony has always stayed grounded to his roots. He truly believes that freshness and quality are his standards for success.