In high school, Bob Borberg, Owner/Operator of Chiusano’s Brick Oven Pizzeria, shot clay pigeons not far from where his restaurant now stands in the Village West area. While earning his Construction Science & Management degree from Kansas State University, Bob tended bar and cooked in Aggieville during school months, and framed houses in the summer to supplement his income.
Upon graduation, he was invited by Vesper Boat Club to move to Philadelphia and pursue the United States Olympic Rowing Team. It wasn’t long before Bob realized his engineering career was too time-consuming for full time elite rowing. He moved back into the restaurant industry bartending and cooking at various restaurants. Bob spent time rowing and working in Newport Beach, Washington D.C., San Diego, Colorado Springs, Augusta, Boston, New York and Florida.
Bob married Nancy Chiusano in 1996 and moved to Winter Park, CO. There he opened Randi’s Irish Saloon, named after his Irish Setter. Borberg received numerous culinary awards at Randi’s and appeared in Gourmet Magazine. In 2003, Bob and Nancy had a daughter, Maureen. After a decade Bob sold Randi’s and opened The Back Country Grill, which he sold after 2 ½ years. He then moved back to Kansas with his wife and daughter. After a careful search through the metropolitan area, Bob purchased the former Ted’s Montana Grill property to open a pizza restaurant that featured the same type of hand kneaded, soft, artisan pizza he enjoyed while traveling through Italy.
Here's what Bob had to say about Kansas City & hospitality:
1. You’ve done a lot of traveling in your life, and even lived in Colorado. Out of everywhere you’ve been, what is it that makes Kansas City unique?
Kansas City is the place a million people came together and had a peaceful celebration of the Royals winning the World Series.
2. Besides Chiusano’s, what’s a can’t miss attraction in Kansas City, KS?
Sporting KC game at the Children's Mercy Stadium
3. Speaking of Chiusano’s, if there was one item on the menu a visitor must try what would it be?
Zeppoles - a deep fried Italian pastry made with ricotta cheese, topped with powdered sugar and served with hot chocolate and bourbon caramel sauces.
4. What is your definition of good hospitality?
Treating customers as friends you care about, not numbers.
5. Give us your best travel tip.