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Fazio’s Ristorante celebrates 25 years

Date: 11/20/2014

EAST LONGMEADOW – Fazio’s Ristorante & Pizzeria recently celebrated its 25th anniversary at its 162 Shaker Road location by renovating the main dining room.

A grand reopening took place on Nov. 18, in which state Rep. Angelo Puppolo Jr. awarded members of the family-owned and operated restaurant with a proclamation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

Aldo Fazio, co-owner of Fazio’s, said he has been working at the restaurant since 1981. He said he runs the business with his cousin Pietro Mazza. The third co-owner is Aldo’s father Antonio.

“When Pietro was 17 years old he dropped everything he knew in Italy and immigrated to the United States to work at the restaurant’s original location on the corner of White and Orange streets in Springfield,” Fazio explained. “All of our success is owed to him.”

Fazio said Mazza has worked at Fazio’s for 34 years and his work weeks are typically 60 to 65 hours long.

The renovations to the main dining room include new paint, hardwood floors, custom built tables and chairs, as well as a 12-foot bar, he said.

“We wanted to do something special for our [25th anniversary],” Fazio added. “We kind of wanted to give the restaurant a fresh new look. It was a little bit dated.”

Fazio said the renovations began on Oct. 20 and was finished in early November. Kenneth Butts of KB Carpentry completed about 95 percent of the renovations and Julie Cantella did the interior decoration.

“We put a lot of our attention in the tables and the chairs because if a customer is comfortable with the table height and with the chair they are going to enjoy their meal that much more, ”Fazio added. 

Fazio said popular menu items include an entrée portion of pasta fagiola – cut spaghetti, white kidney beans sautéed in a marinara sauce, and restaurant’s eggplant parmesan dish, which is freshly sliced and breaded per order.

“The chicken milanese is a very popular dish,” he added. “It’s very similar to chicken francaise except that it’s breaded chicken instead of egg battered. So, it tends to absorb a lot of more of the lemon sauce.”

Fazio’s also offers hand tossed pizzas cooked with cornmeal in large brick stone ovens, he said. The restaurant also makes its own Italian dressing.

“We didn’t change anything,” he added. “We didn’t go up any prices. We just gave you a [fresh modern] nice atmosphere to enjoy your pizza or grinder or dinner in.”