by BETH ALTENA In a way, buying their own restaurant was like an anniversary present for Debbie and Douglas Ryke. The couple celebrated their fifteenth anniversary the day after they opened the doors of Fatzo’s Pizza. In a way, it was like a whole new marriage. “The restaurant is our life now,” said Debbie of the couple’s eatery, which is located in the same spot that was formerly J.D.’s Pizza, and prior to that Peppino’s. Debbie said her husband, the “Fatzo” of the restaurant’s name, has been putting in 90 hour weeks to ensure his dream is off to a good start. She also noted that she might go on a diet because she doesn’t like the idea of becoming known as “Mrs. Fatzo.” Debbie said Douglas always wanted to have a restaurant of his own, and after working in the industry for more than 30 years, opening and running well-known Italian restaurants in West Michigan, he finally decided now was the time. One week to the day after the Friday, September 7 opening, Debbie said business has been terrific, people have been enthusiastic, and food has been “flying” out the door. Douglas said he always believes food is best when it is all made by hand and his is—with the exception of the ravioli—and all with authentic Italian recipes. The restaurant features pizzas, including the famous Chicago-style with two layers of dough, cheese and fresh toppings covered with a hand-rolled crust and sauce, and also other Italian favorites—lasagna, mostaccoli, oven-baked subs, breadsticks, salads and a wet burrito which has already become one of the hottest-selling menu items. The menu features more than 45 items. Douglas said the couple worked hard to prepare for the rebirth of the restaurant as Fatzo’s, where customers can dine in, order delivery or pick up to-go orders. The staff so far is three—the Rykes, and literally the best man they could find for the job, Tom Remington. In addition to offering the same extensive restaurant experience as Douglas, Remington was the couple’s best man at their wedding. “It was fun last Saturday,” said Debbie. “We were all here working and we were joking with each other, saying, ‘I know where you were 15 years ago.’ “ Douglas has an […]
September 20 2012
The Rockford High School Marching Band is proud to host its 30th annual Marching Band Invitational on Saturday, September 22, 2012. This year’s event is slated to be one of the most exciting ever, with 17 bands performing in competition and the Rockford Marching Band providing the finale with their exhibition performance of this year’s show entitled Calls from the Masai Mara. For those who may not be familiar with what a Marching Invitational involves, each band performs their 2012 show and are scored by professional judges on how they look, sound, and move. It is a great event for those who enjoy watching marching bands with other patrons who share their enthusiasm. Rockford’s band is expansive this year, with 262 dedicated members who are multitalented, and is under the exceptional leadership of director Brian Phillips. The Rockford Invitational begins at 3:25 p.m. with the playing of our National Anthem, continues throughout the afternoon with Rockford’s performance at 8:35 p.m. signaling the end of the event. The order of performances of the visiting bands will be posted on the Rockford Marching Band’s website, wwwrockfordbands.org. The cost for admission to the Invitational is $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors 60+ and students. Children 4 and under are free! You can purchase a Family Pass for a family of 4 or more for $20. Visitors will receive one Invitational program with each paid admission (Family Pass counting as 1). Extra programs can be purchased for $2.00. No Golden Age passes will be honored at this event as it is a fundraiser for the Rockford Marching Band. Gates open at 1:45 and the Concession Stand will be open all day! The students and parents of the Rockford High School Marching Band hope to see you there!
by RANDY GREGORY Having faced off with the top two teams in the state in Division 2 (Lowell and Muskegon) over the first three weeks of the regular season, Rockford got a relative breather on Friday, September 14th at Jenison. Save for three lost fumbles, the Rams scored early and often, en route to an overwhelming 52-18 triumph over the Wildcats that moved their record to 2-2 through the non-league portion of the schedule. “I thought it was a case of two teams just banging away at each other,” said Rockford coach Ralph Munger. “It is always nice to be able to reward a lot of kids with some playing time for all of the hard work they do on a daily basis in practice. Our second and third-teamers were instrumental tonight. Not only did they get to play, they played very well, which was very gratifying for us as coaches. But those fumbles have got to stop. I am not happy and never will be happy with not taking care of the ball. We have some backs who will understand over the course of the coming week just how important it is to value the football.” Rockford managed to amass double digit points in all four quarters behind a relentless ground attack. The lead stood at 24-0 Rockford at the half as the Rams dominated every facet of the game over the opening 24 minutes. Casey Watters hit a 27-yard field goal to open the scoring and Austin McKellar added a four-yard burst to make it 10-0 after the first quarter. Sam Reinke and Scott Kaule added TD runs of one and 14 yards respectively to make it 24-0 Rockford at the half. Both Reinke and Kaule topped 100 yards on the ground to lead the Rams. Watters hit all three first half extra points for Rockford to round out the scoring. The Wildcats scored touchdowns the first two times they had the ball in the second half to cut the lead to 24-12 and give hope to the home partisans for an ever so brief time. Unfortunately for Jenison, all the scores did was wake up a Ram offense that had gone dormant coming out of the locker room. On their next three […]