CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The recent exceptional growth of Houston-based Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen chains continues with the newest and 27th franchise, the first Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen in Corpus Christi, Texas. Franchisee David Martinez, who owns the Russo’s New York Pizzeria in McAllen, Texas, plans to open his new restaurant at 6418 S. Staples Street in early 2011. The new upscale Italian dining concept will have 4,488 square feet of dining and full bar as well as 600 square feet of patio seating, and will employ a staff of 40-50 local residents.

“I’m excited to be opening my second Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen,” said franchise owner David Martinez. “My first restaurant in McAllen was such an enormous success, I know the people of Corpus Christi will be thrilled with the authentic family atmosphere and fresh ingredients we will offer at Russo’s.”

A native of New Jersey and the son of first-generation Italian immigrants, Chef Anthony Russo drew upon the real-life experience he gained working in his father’s Galveston, Texas Italian restaurant when he founded Russo’s New York Pizzeria in Houston in 1992. He immediately created a loyal following in Houston, offering authentic New York-style pizza from the family recipe of hand-tossed dough, sauce from freshly crushed California tomatoes, and imported Italian cheeses. He was also among the first in Houston to use a coal-fired brick oven, which contributed to the restaurant’s enormous success. In the spring of 2008, Russo took his fast-casual pizzeria and expanded it to an upscale Italian dining concept, calling it Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. Since then, both restaurant concepts have achieved phenomenal growth and Russo’s has added nearly 30 franchises in Texas and Tennessee, with additional restaurants planned nationwide.

“I was literally raised in authentic Italian kitchens that belonged to my mother and my grandmother, so I know how to translate that wonderful feeling in another space,” said Russo’s CEO and founder Chef Anthony Russo. “I am convinced that the secret of our success is the same as it was for earlier generations of my family – the best ingredients prepared with love by the best cooks and served in a warm and friendly atmosphere.”

About Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Coal-Fired Italian Restaurants

Founded in Houston, Texas, in 1992, our vision is to give the world the opportunity to sit at Chef Anthony Russo’s table in Italy, no matter where they might be. Russo’s doesn’t just deliver exceptional, authentic Italian cuisine, we deliver an experience that customers will seek time and again. Chef Russo is honored to carry his family’s legacy with nearly 30 Pizzerias and Italian Restaurants. For more information about franchise opportunities, please call Anthony Russo at 713-821-1322 or visit

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