Renato's Pizza Masters Restaurant - 278 Central Avenue, Jersey City
Business Owners: Rich, Mark, and Lorenzo Di MarchiFebruary 2011
Don’t let the pizzeria exterior on Central Avenue fool you. At Renato’s Pizza Master Restaurant, you will find not only a great slice of pizza but also one of the best kept secrets in the Jersey City Heights.
Renato’s dinner crowd comes in search of fine Italian cuisine and keeps the staff very busy on most nights. Staged with soft lighting and elegant interior design, the dining area welcomes patrons with plenty of elbow room to spare.
Established in 1959, the business was transferred in 1963 to the De Marchi family who have owned and operated the restaurant ever since. “I started working with my uncle at the restaurant,” recalls Anthony “Rich” De Marchi who currently heads the business alongside his sons Mark and Lorenzo. For those keeping track, the original business was located at 274 Central Avenue before moving two doors down to 278. Rich didn’t have full control until 1976.
Jersey City has gone through plenty of changes since 1959 but the De Marchi’s good business sense and ability to evolve with the neighborhood has made Renato’s a staple of the community. When asked about the recipe that made the business succeed, Rich was happy to share. “Quality, Service, and Price. In that order. If you don’t have the quality, you have nothing,” explained Rich. “We started in 1959 so we must be doing something right.” And right they are.
Their business has grown substantially over the years. In 2004, Renato’s Restaurant underwent a dramatic renovation giving it the elegance it has today. Their brand has now grown to include the Point Restaurant at Port Liberty and Cafe Bello in Bayonne. Renato’s continues to expand as they now also cater events.
The De Marchi family has roots in Jersey City and take pride giving back to the community they do business with. Over the years, Renato’s Restaurant has sponsored numerous little league teams, donated to local causes, gotten involved with local church functions (i.e. St. Joseph’s, St. Anne’s, and St. Nicholas) and organizations like The Dante Alighieri Society and Police Benevolent Association.
The business is being passed to a second generation that maintains that the restaurant industry is like no other. “It is a lifestyle,” says Rich. Of his four children his oldest sons, Mark and Lorenzo, are integral parts of Renato’s operation. Mark has been involved with the business since 1996 and holds an Associates degree from the award-winning Culinary Arts Institute of Hudson County Community College.
Many of Renato’s customers are from the old neighborhood that keep coming back for a visit and great meal. As new residents move into the area, Rich says “Renato’s is there when you are hungry.” You can walk in from Central Avenue or dive to their parking lot via Cambridge Avenue.
For more info, check out the Business Spotlight on Renato's by ChicpeaJC.