Rizzo’s Malabar Inn has been a Crabtree landmark since 1935, when Jerry DeFabo’s grandparents opened a bar and company store on the first floor of their house. Originally, the restaurant was known as the Malabar Inn. In 1954, Rezero (Rizzo) DeFabo, changed the name to Rizzo’s Malabar Inn. The current owner, Jerry DeFabo was actually born in the upstairs living quarters, which is now a dining room.
In 1969, Jerry married Greensburg resident Mary Frances (Chic) Rocco. Both are only two generations removed from their Italian roots. Jerry’s family came from the Provence of Teramo and Mary Frances’ family came from Cercemaggiore. In 1974, the two took over sole ownership of the restaurant. Over the 70-plus years, the DeFabos have expanded and remodeled the restaurant several times more than doubling the restaurant’s original capacity.
The DeFabos pride themselves on providing authentic Italian food in a warm, family-friendly environment. The 450-seat restaurant is the site of many banquets, special occasions, and celebrations for families who have been coming back for years.
The DeFabo’s sons, Jerry Jr. and Rizzi, are now the fourth generation to work in the family business. Each brings a new dimension to the business. Jerry Jr. produces and markets a special line of spaghetti sauces and frozen pasta products, while Rizzi operates a catering business and coordinates special events at the restaurant. The family also provides gift basket and gift certificate service, fund-raising opportunities, and they ship their famous sauces anywhere in the continental U.S. Read on to find out more about the specialized services the DeFabos can offer you.