How Miles Richie is Building His Empire
Miles Richie is taking off on a path completely his own, going from international model to restaurateur to house musician, and he’s not even close to being done
If you knew Miles Richie based simply on who his father is and his background, him saying “I’m opening a restaurant,” could come as a surprise. But if you really knew Richie — son of Lionel, brother to Nicole and Sofia — and knew him well, it would all make a lot more sense. “I’m a big time foodie, I love traveling around the world and trying food,” he says, Zooming in from LA. “I wanted to do something that’ll change the game a little bit and be in my own individual lane of eats.”
And thus was birthed Bob’s Calzone, Richie’s dive headfirst into the culinary industry with an Italian restaurant in LA, steeped in his love for everything pizza, pasta, and comfort food, that’ll champion the humble calzone with “a modern twist, making it fun, bringing it into the new age.” If you really knew him, you’d also understand how “Bob” came into the picture. “My nickname that I got back when I would go out and party was Bob. Bob was like my alter ego. It just works, it’s quirky and that classic, bold name.”
Richie’s plans to start with a flagship, then open a few brick-and-mortar stores, and finally go straight for the jugular with a food truck. He hopes to have everything rolling by the end of the year. “I’m creating a different type of food experience, its own category of food,” he says, mentioning rotating menus and weekly flavor swaps. “It’s going to be eye-opening, and the way that it’s going to be able to grow into so many different things can make people fall in love with the project.”
And Richie wants to keep things moving, planning to release music of his own once Bob’s Calzone has a footing. “I’m working on a six-song EP of house music from around the world, which I’m very excited about,” he says. “I’ll be announcing all the details in the next few months.” Because like with a calzone, and apparently also with Miles Richie, what’s life without a little bit of variety?
VMAN: The first question I wanted to ask was what made you want to get into the restaurant business?
Miles Richie: Well, I’ve always been a foodie my entire life. And some of my favorite foods are pizza and calzones and pastas, comfort food like that. So what I did was a little modern twist on the calzone, making it fun, bringing it into the new age, and just packing all that flavor into something that’s going to be beautiful and a little bit more condensed than the modern calzones that we have.
VM: What got you into Italian food and calzones specifically?
MR: I’m a big, big time foodie, I love traveling around the world and trying food. It’s always been a part of me. And I didn’t want to do something that’s really been done before over and over again and just open up a beautiful pizzeria or something like that. I wanted to do something that’s different, that’ll change the game a little bit and be in my own individual lane of eats.
VM: Interesting! And how did the pandemic affect the entire process?
MR: I actually came up with it at the very beginning of the pandemic. The pandemic has done quite a lot for me, it really helped me focus on the things I love and spend time with my family and creatively express myself in ways that I originally didn’t plan on i.e., in this case, through calzones and food. Also I finally have chosen to express myself and to release music for the first time, which I didn’t really plan on doing in life. But it really opened my eyes to what makes me happy. And I actually enjoyed the outcome of this pandemic for me mentally, physically, and emotionally.
VM: Could you tell us what you’re going to be naming the place?
MR: Yeah, it’s called “Bob’s Calzone.” I wanted a classic name, like all these pizzerias that just have a simple name and then “pizza.” And my nickname that I got back when I would go out and party was Bob. Bob was like my alter ego. So I figured this is a perfect time to just finally use that name for good. It just works, it’s quirky and that classic, bold name.
VM: That’s quite an interesting take on it. What will your involvement be like with the restaurant and the food truck?
MR: I think what we’re going to do is open up a couple of brick and mortar stores first, and then open up a food truck as somewhat of a fun, modern-day pivot. As for my involvement, I want to be in the store, running the restaurant and messing with the dough and getting down with it. I want to be as hands-on as possible. It’s definitely a project that I’m very passionate about. And I want to have my boots on the ground and not just put my name on it and make it and have it just function.
VM: Do you consider yourself to be a good cook?
MR: Yes, I do consider myself to be a good cook. But I don’t know how to make dough. So my partner, Anthony Falco, he’s an absolutely unbelievable dough maker, he’s the dough expert. He’s my partner in this and he’s absolutely amazing. I love the guy, genuinely.
VM: What sort of challenges have there been during the process of planning things out, getting it all off the ground?
MR: I’m a hardcore perfectionist, and I want everything to be right. And right now, finding a location that truly speaks to me; that is somewhere that I want to go to every day; that I fall in love with and I feel a great connection with, that has been the most difficult part. But everything else, the process of getting the menu selected, having the pages look perfect, the logo and everything like that has been relatively smooth. The most difficult part has been finding that spot that I feel like I can express myself best in as our first flagship location. And I would say we fully open by the end of this year. The first one is going to be in Los Angeles.
VM: What do you hope or expect people to take away from “Bob’s Calzone?”
MR: What I’m creating is a different type of food experience, its own category of food. It’s going to be fun and eye-opening, and the way that it’s going to be able to grow into so many different things can make people fall in love with the project. We’ll be able to switch out the flavors every single week, we’ll have new special stuff on the menu, it’s just going to be more of a fun experience, and also delicious and flavorful.
VM: How has this whirlwind experience fit into the scheme of everything going on in your life right now?
MR: It’s gone pretty seamlessly into the rest of my life. Because food comes from the inside, the heart and soul of a human being, and it’s passion that is expressed. Whether you’re making a film, whether you’re making music or making food, it all comes from a place of passion. And it just flowed really seamlessly into everything.
VM: Plus, you did also mention you were making some music too!
MR: Yeah, I’ve got a six-song EP with my friend Yoni that we’re working on right now. It’s house music, but it’s house music from around the world. So it’s going to be six different kinds of songs, all in different lanes. We’re going to have a Brazilian sound, a German sound, a tech-house sound, we’re going to be all over the place with house music. I’ll be announcing the name and all the details within the next few months. But it’s something that I’m very passionate about that I’ve kept inside for the majority of my life, because I’m relatively shy to express my musical side because of who my dad is. And I don’t want to be overshadowed by him in a sense, where you would compare. But the pandemic really opened my eyes. It makes me happy, and it’s something that I really want to do.