Tizzy Beck a native New Yorker arrived to Milan some seven years ago as a fashion photographer. Since then she has made a drastic career move and opened her very own American diner in the heart of the fashion capital’s Navigli district. Easy Milano had the opportunity to chat with her and bring you her story…
What brought you to Milan?
I just wanted to live in a different country for a year, and Italy seemed like a good idea. One day I just decided to move. I had a friend in Milan, and I was working in fashion at the time so it seemed be the right place for me.
After three years you opened your own restaurant, why?
While living in Milan, I was missing a local spot or restaurant like I had in New York, so I decided to open one. It was always a dream of mine and I figured Milan needed a place like Tizzy’s.
Do you have any professional experience in the kitchen?
Professional experience no, I love to cook.
Why an American diner? On your menu we find French toast and burgers which were not easy to find in Italy when you opened the restaurant, we’re curious as to why you chose this theme for your own restaurant in Italy?
It’s what I knew and what I missed. I saw a few places that try to do it, but I knew I could do it better and make it more authentic. You can find a real American brunch with eggs and pancakes just like at home. We also have beer from Brooklyn Brewery, a brand from back home that I had to have.
What is it like to open a restaurant? How did you do it?
You need to get the ball rolling. When I began this, it was all blind ambition, I knew I wanted to open a restaurant but I had no idea of how to do it. I didn’t think “I can’t do this”, I just did it. You need to be very clear in what you want to do and then do it. Step one leads to step two, step two to three and so on…
What has been your biggest challenge in doing business in Italy?
The hardest thing is keeping up with the paperwork, there are no guidelines, and it’s a bit of a mess here.
What is your favorite dish from Tizzy’s?
Spicy chicken wings, I like spicy. But it is also one of the things that I crave from home and they are so hard to find here.
What is your Italian dish?
Only one? I think it would be fritto misto.
What do you like best from living in Italy?
The country is insanely beautiful, breath-taking at times. For such a small country there really is everything. I love that I have the chance to have a life here, and a life back home in NY.
What is your favorite place?
There isn’t just one. I love Milan; it’s so close to everything. In an hour you are in the mountains, I love to ski, but then you are also an hour away from the seaside and the country. I also like Venice, for weekends though and for holidays I like Ponza.
If you had to start from scratch, would you do it again?
I would do it over in a minute. I love it; it’s the love of my life. I love what I do.
Visit Tizzy’s N.Y. Bar & Grill
Alzaia Naviglio Grande 46 – 20144 Milan
Tel. 02 5811 8227
follow Tizzy on facebook