- The Washington Times - Monday, January 20, 2003

Francesco Pistorio had a high-powered job in the New York restaurant business, but he was tired of being called "Mr. Pistorio."
"I loved what I did, but I wanted to be known by my customers and co-workers as just 'Francesco,'" he said with a heavy Italian accent.
The native Italian, who is an American citizen, said an opportunity with an old friend convinced him to become managing partner for Latin Concepts LLC, a D.C. restaurant company.
Mr. Pistorio, 43, manages the inner operations at Washington nightclubs Chi-Cha Lounge, Gazuza, Bambule and Gua-Rapo, and will run Agua Ardiente when it opens in early March.
It's a big change from Mr. Pistorio's former position as director of East Coast operations for Bice Corp., an upscale Italian restaurant company based in New York.
Mr. Pistorio started his career with Bice when he helped open Bice Ristorante with Fabio Beggatio and Franco Nuschese in 1991.
As the restaurant gained success, Mr. Pistorio was promoted to overseeing all operations including bookkeeping, inventory, wine lists, menus and staff training for Bices in New York, Chicago, Miami and Washington.
"It's taken some time getting used to the smaller operations here" at Gua-Rapo in Arlington, where he will set up an operations system before the opening of Agua Ardiente, Mr. Pistorio says.
"But I love how different the structure is from my experiences of working with more formal Italian restaurants. The whole Latino influence is something I can bring a different perspective to as an Italian."
Mauricio Fraga-Rosenfeld, partner and owner of Latin Concepts, says he finally has secured his 12-year goal of bringing Mr. Pistorio on his team to help develop and operate Latino restaurants and clubs in the metropolitan area.
"I met Francesco when he was at Bice Ristorante in Washington, and I loved eating there because he made the atmosphere very comfortable and he was able to talk with anyone," Mr. Fraga-Rosenfeld says.
After opening Agua Ardiente at 1250 24th St. NW, Mr. Fraga-Rosenfeld plans to open one more restaurant/lounge in the District before expanding outside the Washington area.
Mr. Pistorio says he will be on board with any venture.
"This is a permanent career change for me, so I'm going to continue being in the background managing Mauricio's money and telling him how we should run his restaurants," he says.
"This business is completely mercenary, and Mauricio and I both respect that, which is why I'm here," he adds.
Mr. Pistorio lives in the District while his wife, Sue Patricia, and daughter temporarily live in London.



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