Hospitality Legend Richie Romero on Making NYC The City That Never Sleeps…Again Interview with New York City Hospitality Legend Richie Romero about putting relationships at the forefront of business, the changing celebrity economy, and how he embarked on a career in making people happy.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • Hospitality After COVID - Richie Romero has been in the hospitality business long enough to see it evolve more than once. Post pandemic lockdowns, the nightlife scene changed and he has to work even harder to build relationships with its patrons. Luckily, he loves it.
  • Putting Relationships First - Over the years Richie Romero has obviously made his fair share of money. For him, however, the power of the relationships he's built come second to none. Not even money is as important as building connections.
  • Return of The City That Never Sleeps - It's not secret that New York City saw a huge flight of residence during the Pandemic shutdowns. Richie Romero, a born-and-bred, proud New Yorker, is on a personal mission to return the city to the thriving epicenter of entertainment it once was.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"I love creating and I love creating with other people. I love building relationships."

This quote summarizes Richie Romero, a hospitality legend that has played a major role in a number of New York City entertainment staples. Being a native New Yorker has given him a sense of pride that permeates his purpose.

Richie Romero's hospitality endeavors began at an early age. At just 12 years old, he would throw parties in the local McDonald's play area. Legally or illegally, these types of early entrepreneurial endeavors became the precursor for a career of providing consistent memorable experiences.

Creating what he labels "decentralized casino" experiences throughout the city is something near and dear to his heart.

"We don't have casinos here [in NYC]. We don't have resorts. So I have to do it the deconstructed, decentralized way." Richie Romero points out to host Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media on the Restaurant Influeners podcast. "I want to give and put a smile on and have an imprint on anyone's life from any age."

Though the business has evolved, and that evolution has been accelerated by COVID protocols within New York City, Richie Romero has been able to remain atop the hospitality scene and continue to formulate and nurture relationships with notable clientele.

When asked about his approach, he says, "I think relationships are more important than anything. To me, it's more important than money."

His love for entertainment and building sustainable relationships is only matched by Richie Romero's love for his New York City.

"I love my city and I want to see New York thrive again."

One thing is for sure, Richie Romero will spend days and nights doing everything in his power to make sure that happens.


NOMINATE A RESTAURANT INFLUENCER — Do you know someone who is killing it on social media? Let us know by emailing or sending the @calibbqmedia team a DM on social media.


Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants. Learn more about Toast.

Restaurant Influencers is also supported by DAVO. Never worry about sales tax again. Try DAVO and get your first month free. And AtmosphereTV - TV to Enhance Your Business. Try AtmosphereTV.

Wavy Line

Shawn P. Walchef is the founder of Cali BBQ Media, podcast host, business coach, and proud dad. Since opening Cali BBQ in 2008, he has grown his San Diego restaurant and media company into a global brand using digital tools and smartphone storytelling. 

As a restaurateur who opened during the Great Recession, Shawn learned to use the power of the Internet to stay in business. During the Pandemic, Cali BBQ developed a scalable growth plan that is three times more profitable than the traditional full-service restaurant model.
Email to get in touch.

More from Restaurant Influencers

Andy Hooper of Hart House on Pioneering a Plant-Based Revolution

Charles Bililies of Souvla on Creating a Fast-Fine Greek Restaurant

Guga of GUGA FOODS on Breaking the Rules of BBQ and Social Media

Mr. Bake Kareem Queeman on Telling Your Product Story

Editor's Pick

She's Been Coding Since Age 7 and Presented Her Life-Saving App to Tim Cook Last Year. Now 17, She's on Track to Solve Even Bigger Problems.
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Business News

Oscar Mayer Is Changing the Name of Its Iconic Wienermobile

The company is slamming the brakes on its wiener on wheels and rolling out a new meaty ride.


Working Remote? These Are the Biggest Dos and Don'ts of Video Conferencing

As more and more businesses go remote, these are ways to be more effective and efficient on conference calls.

Growing a Business

The Best Way to Run a Business Meeting

All too often, meetings run longer than they should and fail to keep attendees engaged. Here's how to run a meeting the right way.


Take Your Social Media Earning Potential Sky-High With This $79.97 Quadcopter

Get this beginner-friendly drone for a great price for Father's Day.

Growing a Business

Subscribers Exclusive Event: Discover How These 2 Founders Turned Their Side Hustle into a Million-Dollar Lifestyle Brand

Learn how you can transform your personal brand into a thriving business empire with co-founders of The Skinny Confidential