Vito's Ristorante to open at former Rico's in East Syracuse

Opening night set for Sept. 1

EAST SYRACUSE (WSYR-TV) - Just a few months after Rico's Ristorante served it's final plate of pasta -- the well-known East Syracuse location will soon welcome new and old visitors to Vito's Ristorante.

The restaurant is named after Tony and Michael Albanese's grandfather, Vito. It's set to open on Sept. 1.

"We're pretty excited to get it ready," said Tony, the president of Vito's. "We've got a big push this month."

With their restaurant, Tony's, thriving for 17 years at its Burnet Avenue location, the Albanese brothers couldn't resist reviving the spot Rico's called home for two decades.

"It was a very, very successful restaurant here that everybody enjoyed and it was tough to see it go," said Michael, the treasurer at Vito's. "I just think that having it reopened within three months is just outstanding."

Michael says being born and raised in East Syracuse makes opening Vito's in this location extra special.

Michael and Tony are joined in the venture by restaurant partner Steve Reader, also the owner of Waterfront in Brewerton. Joe Basile is the building owner.

"People stop here all day long," Tony said. "Our contractors tell us how many people stop by here to find out when we're going to open which is exciting. It really is."

Renovations to the kitchen, bathrooms and dining room are all underway. Along with a new sign -- the restaurant will have new awnings as well.

"We had the window sills all refinished and everything," Tony said. "The bar area -- we're going to finish that."

The original bar from Rico's will remain with a fresh look.

While customers will see and feel everything that's new, both Tony and Michael say the food will taste like always.

"Rico did a great job with their riggies. People like them. Their chicken riggies, sausage riggies and stuff," Tony said. "We want to keep it the same for people that like theirs and I do a phenomenal chicken riggies. They are very popular and we thought we'd bring them over here to and they could have a choice."

As Michael reminisced about many past lunches and dinners at Rico's, he says the same friendly faces will also be at Vito's.

"We've always had the same server when we came here [Rico's]. The faces have been the same for years," Michael said. "We're hoping to keep that the same because they're all good people."

Unused gift certificates to Rico's Ristorante will not be accepted or honored at Vito's Ristorante.


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