Being a restaurateur, let alone a successful one, has never been easy, even when you’ve got a legendary restaurant such as Rao’s in New York in your arsenal. Frank Pellegrino, Jr., owner of the original Rao’s in Harlem and Rao’s at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, however knows that a successful restaurant is made by making guests feel like they’re part of the family.
“Frankie” as he is known to Rao’s regulars, grew up helping his father and family at the restaurant – waiting tables, cooking, managing the restaurant – basically learning the family business, even though his father, Frank Sr. attempted to talk him out of it.
The fourth generation owner of Rao’s, Frank attended Connecticut State University on a wrestling scholarship, where he studied graphic design and eventually went on to open his own advertising agency in New York. The restaurant business never left his blood, as he continued to work at the restaurant nights. Frank, however, knew that this was his legacy and where he belonged, ultimately returning to work at Rao’s full-time.