When Ralph Rzucek decided to make a career change, he stuck with something he knew.
“Pizza is my all-time favorite food,” said Rzucek, who previously worked in the car business.
Last spring, he and wife Cathy decided to purchase the Vito & Nick’s II franchise at 12443 S. Route 59 in Plainfield.
The Lockport couple considered opening a franchise for several other pizza chains, but jumped at the opportunity to buy the Plainfield business, which opened in 2003, Rzucek said.
“I’ve always liked Vito & Nick’s,” he said of the chain, which got its start in Chicago in 1932.
Rzucek said he has used his love of cooking to create new menu items, such as a jumbo fried shrimp appetizer and the new chicken Francesca dish. He’s also brought the Plainfield location back to its roots, the father of two said.
“The previous owner went away from the original Vito & Nick’s recipe,” Rzucek said. “We went back to the original.
“Vito & Nick’s is probably one of the last pizzas out there that does everything the old-fashioned way,” he added, saying the restaurant uses only fresh ingredients for everything from the crust to the sauce to the toppings.
The restaurant specializes in a crispy, thin-crust pizza. The Plainfield location also created a new standout dish for the chain: a double-dough pizza with a layer of cheese between two tiers of Vito & Nick’s signature crispy crust.
The restaurant offers free Bingo games — complete with prizes — at 6 p.m. every Monday.
“It’s very family oriented,” Rzucek said, adding customers of all ages show up every Monday to play.
Customers can also sign up online for the Vito & Nick’s email club to receive special discounts, Rzucek said.
The restaurant also keeps customers current on specials and events via its Facebook page.