Meet Bill Borders

Li'l Rizzo's has been in the Borders family since the very beginning!  Carol Borders, along with Mike Rizzo and Ed Alexander, founded the original Rizzo's in 1985.  The restaurant was a success and soon Carol acquired full ownership.  Two other restaurants have since opened, which brings us to her son Bill.  Carol and Bill opened the Premium Outlets location together and now he runs both it and the Horseshoe Bend location.  To get to know who's running your favorite Italian restaurant at the Lake of the Ozarks today, we asked Bill some questions and here are his answers!

Q:  Tell us about your family. 



A:  My mother is a remarkable woman who overcame many obstacles to become a successful business person. She moved to the Lake from St. Louis in the spring of 1985 to be the dining room manager of a new Italian Restaurant.  She worked tirelessly at Rizzo's and ultimately bought the business from her partners.  She opened three more successful restaurants before her retirement in 2003.

I have an incredible, lovely wife Windy, we have been married for 8 years this October.  The two greatest joys in my life are my daughters Rogan, age 5 and Dagen 3.  Now that the girls are in school Windy has become more active in the business of Rizzo's, my retirement plan perhaps?

Q: What’s your favorite movie and why? 


A:  I don't know that I have a favorite movie, but I am an avid history buff, especially American History.  I love anything set in a period from the past.

Q:  What kind of music do you listen to? 


A:  I rarely listen to music anymore, but when I do I like RUSH!

Q:  What did you enjoy most about serving in the US Navy? 


A:  I was working at McDonnell Aircraft Company in St. Louis when a friend told me he had just joined the Navy to be a pilot and was shipping out next week.  Flying F-18's sounded a lot better to me than building F-18's, so I rushed down to the recruiting office and filled out an application.  Three weeks later I was on my way to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida for Aviation Officer's Candidate school.

One of the first things you do at NAS Pensacola is submit to an extensive physical exam where I failed the vision requirements to become a pilot.  I was given the opportunity and agreed to stay on as a Naval Flight Officer which in most cases is the back-seater/weapons system operator. Flying in the Navy, on and around aircraft carriers was the greatest experience in my life until I had children.  The sense of pride and duty to country you derive from military service is hard to explain but extremely fulfilling.

Q:  Why did you get in the restaurant business? 


A:  When I was a kid my parents owned a neighborhood bar in St. Louis and I can remember going in on Sundays and helping my dad clean.  He would hand me a broom and tell me to sweep the parking lot.  My interests were always in aviation and I really had no desire to be in the food and beverage business, but after leaving the military, and a failed attempt at a business in Kansas City I needed a job.  So, in the Spring of '94 I became my mother's retirement plan.

Q:  What motivates you at work? 


A:  This may sound cheesy to some people, but what motivates Windy and I is the responsibility we have to our employees to run a successful business.  We have many families who depend on us for their livelihood and that is a responsibility we do not take lightly.  Yes, the profit motive is there, but you must take care of your customers and employees first and the rest will take care of its self.

Q: What’s your favorite item on your menu? 


A: Pizza, because there are endless variations.

Q:  What do you like to do in your spare time? 


A:  Please define "spare time".

Q:  Who do you admire most and why? 


A:  I admire everyone who gets up in the morning when it's difficult to keep going and the easy thing to do is quit.

Be sure to stop into either of our Lake of the Ozarks restaurant locations to try Bill's favorite menu item, the Pizza!  As he said, there are so many different variations to choose from. so there's something for everyone in the family to love!  For the best Italian food at Lake of the Ozarks, it's Li'l Rizzo's!




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