BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- You've seen him in hit movies like "The Usual Suspects," and he was in Baltimore two years ago in his one-man show, "A Bronx Tale." Now acclaimed actor Chazz Palminteri is planning his next act--a new restaurant in Charm City.
Ron Matz has more on the plans to bring a piece of the Bronx to Baltimore.
Baltimore is watching Chazz Palminteri. The actor is teaming up with the owners of Aldo's to open a new restaurant in Harbor East. It all started over a plate of pasta marinara.
"When Chazz Palminteri came to Baltimore to do his one man show 'A Bronx Tale' he was looking for that fateful plate of linguini marinara. And he tried a couple of restaurants, but he came into Aldo's and fell in love. He came in 10 nights in a row and born of that experience we became pretty close friends," said Sergio Vitale, Aldo's owner.
The friendship led to Chazz: a Bronx original.
"We traveled with him around the country on tour, just to hang out as friends might. We were kicking around the idea of doing a casual inexpensive pizza-based restaurant. He's always wanted to do that. It's been a lifetime ambition of his to do something like that, so it was a perfect partnership right from the beginning," said Vitale.
Here's the word on the new place--it's casual, it will seat 165 people inside, plus 50 more outside. The coal-fired pizza oven will be center stage.
"We're excited. It's going to be a lot of fun. Come by in mid-May and see what we're all about. I think once Baltimore tastes an authentic Bronx-style coal-fired pizza, they're going to be as crazy about it as we are. It's the kind of pizza you drive miles for. It's fantastic," said Vitale.
Chazz Palminteri and the Vitales sealed the deal for the Chazz in a hotel room in Atlantic City.
"No one can find a better partner or better friend than in Chazz. He's a perfectionist, a stand-up guy, a man of his word. As a business partner I couldn't have asked for more. He's been intimately involved in every detail of this project and I think Baltimore will find a great friend in him," said Vitale.
Right now the Vitales and Chazz Palminteri are hoping to open the new restaurant by the middle of May. It's expected to provide about 100 jobs.
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