The company is a joint effort of the two friends Franco and Paolo. It was founded in the 1990’s, starting with a restaurant in Beverly Hills called Trilussa. Three years later, Trastevere opened on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. A few years after that,Trastevere opened in Hollywood, then La Piazza opened in Los Angeles and finally Ristorante al Mare on the Santa Monica Pier. This expansion proved to be a tremendous success.
Franco Sorgi has had a lifetime of involvement with public relations and catering. Franco spent ten years managing the Hotel Dany Resort, a family-owned and operated four star hotel in Rome, Italy until it was sold to a larger Italian company. Later, Franco spent three years working with Valtur, a popular international resort owned by Club Med, which averaged about 1,500 visitors per day. In 1993 he began working with Robert Kingsley, the Vice President of Caesar’s World Resort in a very ambitious project: the development of a world class resort and casino in Punta dell’ Este, Uruguay that was privately owned but to be operated by Caesar’s Palace. Franco’s passion is to continue his lifetime involvement with great food and entertaining people.
Paolo Simeone has been involved in the restaurant business in California since 1984. He started as a cook and pastry chef and went on to become involved in the detailed administration as well as working as the manager and maitre d’ for numerous restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County. He understands the needs of the general public and is very knowledgeable about every aspect of the restaurant business. Paolo is extremely skilled and numbers are his passion (after food, of course). He makes sure the food, liquor and payroll are all consistently under control.
Franco and Paolo grew up together in Rome, Italy, and have been partners since 1993. They are friends for life. With their strong managerial abilities and business savvy, they are recognized as the driving force behind the success of Trastevere Restaurants as well as La Piazza Restaurant. They have a keen sense of their customers’ likes and preferences, and are well respected by their entire staff as well as the industry as a whole. Franco and Paolo take time to know their patrons and their many “regulars.” Their management skills enable the restaurant to operate smoothly and efficiently, therefore allowing a high rate of customer volume as well as profit.
Ristorante al Mare’s’s success is due to everyone working together as a team, from the servers and busboys to the managers and owners. Other factors include the quality and authenticity of delicious Italian food, fairness of prices and the right location.