• Our Day With Chris Manzo of RHONJ + Tenth Street Pizza

    Written by:

    While most of us know him from the hit Bravo series, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Chris Manzo has far exceeded that TV role as a Hoboken restaurant owner + resident. We are taking you behind the scenes and inside the life of our #MCM {that’s man crush Manzo, yup — went there} so you can get to know him on a more personal level than what you have seen on T.V. Even though Chris is as humble as ever, we were able to get a good sense of the man behind it all. Currently, he’s thriving in his new role at his restaurant, Tenth Street Pasta and Pizza {on the corner of 10th and Willow}, which opened in 2017. Read on to find out all about our day spent with this week’s Hoboken Guy of the Week, Chris Manzo.

    chris manzo danielle

    ^Team HG member Danielle with the Manzos!

    Now, as many local business owners know, opening up a restaurant in The Mile Square is no joke. It takes resilience, reputation, and a kick-butt menu. When Chris teamed up with Mario {owner of the iconic 10th + Willow}, he knew that the combination of his lifelong experience alongside Mario’s would marry perfectly.

    “I just wanted to be part of the community,” explained Manzo when asked why he decided to take on Tenth Street. Growing up in the restaurant business made this decision a no brainer for him.

    The menu is ever-evolving and epic, with some of the most authentic pizza in all of Hoboken + drool-worthy pastas, Tenth Street knows how to play in the big leagues. The night we met with Chris, Maria {his work mom and chef}, was whipping up a bomb chicken parm {which she later sent home with Chris for dinner — so presh} and added it to the menu.

    See More: Hoboken Girl of the Week: Dr. Avisheh Forouzesh {of Advanced Infections Disease Medical}

    What made you want to do enter the restaurant industry?

    tenthstreet pasta pizza

    “I’ve always loved the restaurant business and this opportunity fell into my lap. Mario and I have always talked about doing something together. When he opened this place, it couldn’t have been more perfect. I knew that no matter what, I would have been in the restaurant business. It is second nature for me; it is what I know.”

    chris manzo pizza

    {Photo courtesy of @chris_manzo}

    Chris has been on the up and up these last few years, between the restaurant, writing a children’s book and starting a hilarious podcast with Albie; he has bitten off a piece of everything. He is a jack of all trades + master of them all. Super proud of his hustle and go-getter personality.

    You just wrote a children’s book – what was that like?

    “It was the coolest experience in my life. They say what you do when you procrastinate is what you really want to do in life. So, I write. I used to write the names of people, restaurants, characters. I would just make them up. I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book. The thing about adults is that you can’t just tell them what to do with their lives. They don’t care. With kids, you can write a book and then throw in a, ‘Hey, be nice to each other,’ and they listen.”

    Chris spent a lot of time writing at the Hoboken Public Library, which is really a treasure of a place. In his heart, he loves stand-up comedy but never wanted to actually get up there and do it. So, he wrote a children’s book. Writing is just a way of expression for him and, TBH — we love it. Shameless plug: pick up a copy of Oliver Brightside: You Don’t Want That Penny — for you, a friend, your niece — it’s great.

    What was it like filming for The Real Housewives of New Jersey?

    “Oh man, I loved filming. It was like one big slumber party. Everyone who produced the show became family. A lot happened while we were filming, as you probably saw on TV, but I wouldn’t take it back for anything. I had the best time.

    My family was cast through word of mouth. The producers went into a local hair salon and were looking for interesting women to be part of a reality TV show. Word was passed along through a few families and before we knew it, we were getting ready to film season one.”

    Do they just film you during a typical day or is there more to it?

    “Yeah, they would call us and say, “What are you doing today?” If it was interesting, they would bring their cameras. It was like, “Oh you’re going on a date? Where are you going? What time? Alright, we will be there.”

    chris manzo family

    {Photo courtesy of @chris_manzo}

    Family is everything to the Manzos and Chris has always made that his top priority, even while filming. The Manzos never failed to stay true to themselves and that is why so many of us love them. Recently, Chris became an uncle when his sister, Lauren had a baby. Markie is precious and often comes by the restaurant to run the show.

    “She’s the best. I don’t want to hang out with other people, explained Chris. Lauren is a mom. To see my sister like that is just great. And to see my mom as a grandma is so cool to me.

    Read More: Hoboken Guy of the Week: James Calleo

    You and Al host a podcast together – Dear Albie – how’s that going?

    {Author’s note: We got to spend the day with the Manzos and appear on their podcast, which can be heard here.}

    chrismanzo hg week podcast

    “Yeah, we are enjoying it. I started out on a sports talk show for a fantasy network. That was fun, but I was with my brother and was like, ‘What if we do our own podcast and answer old Dear Abby questions?’ We decided to call it Dear Albie and that’s how it happened.”

    For those who have not yet listened to this one, put it on your radar. It is light, funny, and candid, to say the least. Chris and Al go back and forth with each other, answering old Dear Abby questions, giving their two cents on antiquated scenarios, probably from people who are no longer alive, which Chris thinks is hilarious.

    chrismanzo hg guy week

    They also answer DM questions sent to Albie’s Instagram and email, which will leave you in tears from laughing. They often have co-hosts on the podcast and you can hear us talking all things Hoboken in an upcoming episode. We will be back on the podcast to co-host again in the spring so be sure to check them out for sure – even Caroline was on the show not too long ago.

    It’s only March and 2019 has already been a great year for Chris. Between the successes of his restaurant and podcast, as well as the wonderful things happening with his family, he is excited to see where the rest of the year takes him.

    “This is the first time in a while that I will be traveling. I have a few weddings this year in Spain and Italy and I can’t want to go.”

    He is also excited to see what happens with Tenth Street and knows that the restaurant will keep him busy and we are stoked to see him thrive.

    Hoboken + Jersey City Favorites

    chrismanzo hg week 1

    Rapid fire time:

    Pizza or pasta?

    Pizza.

    Best mutz in Hoboken?

    Frans — RIP.

    Favorite ‘90s jam?

    Gimme The Loot — Biggie.

    Texting or talking?

    Neither. I hate both.

    Morning or night?

    Night, for sure.

    Celeb crush?

    Katie Noland.

    Rom-com or thriller?

    Thriller.

    Favorite holiday?

    Thanksgiving with the Core Seven [AKA his fam].

    First date spot?

    Bin 14 — love that sea salt and cracked pepper mutz.

    Last person you texted?

    My sister.

    What does SCUBA stand for?

    Scuba Steve?

    Want to be featured or nominate someone as an upcoming Hoboken Guy of the Week?

    Email hello@hobokengirl.com about your/her story.


    Written by:

    Hoboken homeowner and lover of all things local, Danielle made her home in the Mile Square City nearly four years ago. Danielle is a second grade teacher by day; after hours, she can be found in the kitchen whipping up a a new recipe or grabbing a bite to eat with her husband and friends. Danielle is the try-er and buyer of all things beauty and loves finding a good deal. Shopping on Washington, interior decorating, and riding her Peloton are just a few of Danielle's favorite things. Oh, and did we mention her undying love for the New York Yankees?


    One comment

    • Didn’t the Manzo boys’ last two restaurants go tits up? They didn’t learn anything from their dad, apparently.

      Reply

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