Veteran restaurateur John Perazzo is preparing to open a second location of his popular Italian eatery J. Razzo’s, on State Road 32 in Westfield.
J. Razzo’s 2 should debut this month, pending a final inspection. The 50-seat pasta palace, located in the Westfield Crossing strip center just west of Carey Road, will offer a pared-down version of the parent restaurant’s dinner menu.
Perazzo developed his culinary chops through decades in the business. He was the general manager of the dearly departed Salvatore’s at 86th Street and Ditch Road for 23 years before opening small-plate sensation Zing in Indianapolis with partner Mark Jacobs in 2008.
The original J. Razzo’s Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, located in the Hamilton Crossing strip center at Meridian Street and Carmel Drive, opened in 2011. It will continue to serve lunch and dinner—and provide a training ground for the new eatery’s 15 employees.
The Westfield outpost is about half the size of the Carmel location, which also has a private dining room available for special events. Perazzo said he has an option to expand the new restaurant into adjoining space if things go well.
“The response has been great so far,” he said. Since the J. Razzo’s 2 sign went up, he gets calls every day asking when it will open.
Westfield was an appealing location for his family-friendly restaurant because of its growth, Perazzo said.
Although traffic has been a source of grumbling from residents and businesses during the state’s U.S. 31 overhaul, he’s not worried about the Westfield location suffering as a result.
The same can’t be said for his Carmel restaurant: Meridian Street is scheduled to be closed for months while the state Department of Transportation builds an overpass at 126th Street/Carmel Drive and an interchange and roundabout interchanges at Main and 136th streets.
“That can’t be good,” he said.