2017 Progress Edition
These local businesses support the local arts, theater, and entertainment in our region.
Johnny Brusco’s Pizza
Several years ago Bristol Native Chuck Richani was living and working in Atlanta, having lunch at this favorite pizza spot, Johnny’s New York Style Pizza. As Richani looked over the menu, he noticed “For franchise opportunities call…” printed on the back of the menu. Knowing there was nothing like Johnny’s in his hometown region, Mr. Richani began putting together a business plan and work to bring it all to life.
Johnny Brusco’s has been giving Tri-Cities dwellers the finest in New York Style pizza, subs, pasta, and other tasty bites since opening the first location in Johnson City in May of 2004. Mr. Richani graduated from ETSU in 1986 with a degree in Computer and Information Sciences. Despite the technical path being his initial plan, he wasn't a stranger to the restaurant world; his parents were restauranteurs. Before opening, Johnny Brusco’s Mr. Richani’s only familiarity knew how hard the work was.
"I don't think people know what it takes to run a restaurant," Mr. Richani says, “When I opened the store in Johnson City, I worked fourteen hours a day, seven days a week for almost a year straight. There were a few times when someone would close for me so I could get home early—8:30 PM. For the couple of hours I had to myself, it felt like a vacation.” All that hard work paid off, and soon additional locations opened in both Kingsport and Bristol. “It’s a passion of mine for people to leave the restaurant stating it was the best pizza they ever had. I think if you get into the restaurant business for the money, the chances of failure double. Satisfied customers are the best reward."
Mr. Richani plans to bring more of Johnny Brusco’s NY pizza to other locations, with an eye towards the Knoxville market. When you need that thin foldable, NY style pizza, call or drop into your nearby Johnny Brusco’s New York Style Pizza!