Rino D's Pizza & Wings' partnership with billiards bar proves profitable

Rino D's pizza
The ingredients for Rino D's pizzas are made from scratch in the kitchen, including dough daily and sauce every other day. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

The ingredients for Rino D's pizzas are made from scratch in the kitchen, including dough daily and sauce every other day. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Daryl Chester is not a pizza guy. He is more of a bar guy or a billiards guy and those enterprises are where he has made his living for most of his career.

But Chester, who owns Jester’s Billiards in Gilbert, was presented with an unusual opportunity in 2017 when the owner of Rino D’s Pizza & Wings, next door to his place, told Chester she was going to retire and wanted to know if he was interested in buying it.

Chester was not looking to go into the pizza business, but he was concerned about the development. The two businesses had a longstanding partnership where Rino D’s essentially acted as the food kitchen for his bar.

“When she said she wanted to retire, I was fearful that somebody would buy it and change the recipes or do something different with it,” Chester said. “And I said, ‘yeah, I'll buy it. We'll just integrate it into what we're doing.’”

So Chester took over in November 2017, signed the kitchen managers to a retention contract that paid them bonuses if they stayed a year and kept the made-from-scratch recipes the same with nearly no menu changes.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Chester said. “I mean, it was doing well, and I had no complaints with it.”

In fact, Chester said the partnership with Jester’s does work well, with the bar supplying supplying about 25% of Rino D’s business. The two have maintained separate store fronts.

Rino D’s by nature is a takeout and delivery place, with only seating for about eight inside and a couple more outside. Chester said only about 5% of the business dines in.

But that proved beneficial when the pandemic hit and restaurants’ dining rooms closed.

“When everything was shut down, we were doing gangbusters,” he said. “It was all hands on deck. I moved some of my employees from the bar over there to help out because we were so busy.”

Though the summer bar shutdown did see some employees take unemployment, the pizza has thrived and done well in online reviews.

“We do pretty good,” Chester said. “I'm very proud of it. The staff takes great care of it, and they're interested in quality.”

Menu highlights

Here are some key numbers from the Rino D’s menu.

7 flavors of wings

15 appetizers

5 salads

6 desserts

12 specialty pizzas
$21 highest priced item (16-inch specialty pizza)



Rino D’s Pizza and Wings

1515 N. Gilbert Road, Ste. 114, Gilbert

480-545-2700

http://rinodspizza.com

Hours: Mon.-Thu. 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


MOST RECENT

See a breakdown of COVID-19 cases, vaccinations and more local data. (Community Impact staff)
COVID-19 cases increasing slowly, vaccinations up across Gilbert

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 31,547 COVID-19 cases overall in Gilbert's six ZIP codes June 20, an increase from 166 from the previous week.

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
Fewer patients being seen for COVID-19-like symptoms

Here is what you need to know about hospitalization numbers in Arizona because of COVID-19 cases.

The Chandler USD governing board will meet June 23 and will discuss the possibility of adopting a resolution to call for an override election. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler USD governing board to discuss possible override election

The Chandler USD governing board will meet June 23 and will discuss the possibility of adopting a resolution to call for an override election.

Road barrels
Lanes to be closed overnight on Loop 202-Santan Freeway

Loop 202-Santan Freeway will undergo overnight lane closures in the Gilbert area from June 22-July 2.

Road work sign
Recker Road project reaches 60% completion

The improvements will bring Recker Road to minor arterial road standards, including four lanes, bike lanes, sidewalks and streetlights.

Coming soon
Tap Dragon Craft Beer & Wine Bar opening pushed back to September

Tap Dragon will offer local craft beers and a rotating wine list, meads and ciders

Jeremiah's Ice
Jeremiah's Italian Ice set to open in Gilbert Warner center in mid-July

The shop serves 40 flavors of Italian Ice and three flavors of soft ice cream.

Colton Grubb announced Grubstak would close its doors June 13. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Grubstak in Chandler closes; Gilbert Town Council OKs park with stipulations and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from Chandler and Gilbert.

Gilbert Municipal Building I
Gilbert committee to consider uses for new logo

The Gilbert Town Council directed staff at its June 15 meeting to pull together an internal committee to study appropriate uses of the town’s new logo.

Randy Nelson
Gilbert Town Council approves Santan Adventure Park with stipulations

A developer cleared a final hurdle to build Santan Adventure Park at a site off Gilbert’s Crossroads Regional Park, but neighbors earned some concessions in the final vote.

See a breakdown of COVID-19 cases, vaccinations and more local data. (Community Impact staff)
COVID-19 cases down, vaccinations up across Gilbert

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 31,381 COVID-19 cases overall in Gilbert's six ZIP codes June 13.

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
COVID-19-related hospitalizations continue to remain low across Arizona

Take a look at the hospitalization data across Arizona.