A little bit of history

Located a stones throw from the Murrumbidgee River and in the heart of Wagga's business district, Romano's is a Riverina icon.

Built as the Commercial in 1857, it was one of the most substantial buildings in the Riverina. In 1885 TS Bellair took over and it was called the Bellair Commercial. It was occupied by the RAAF during WWII and purchased by Azzalin Orlando Romano in late 1945.


Azzalin Orlando Romano, a restaurateur, was born on 13 September 1894 at Padua, Italy. His early hospitality working life saw him work at hotels and restaurants in Nice, Monte Carlo, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and London. He rose through a pyramidal structure from receptionist to cook and from waiter to wine butler; he had learned to speak French, German, Spanish and English, in addition to his native Italian, and claimed to have served every King in Europe.

In his early twenties, while officiating as head waiter at London's Ritz Hotel, he adopted Romano as his surname, reflecting his regard for one of the city's most renowned restaurants.

In 1923, Romano come to Australia to run the luxurious Ambassadors restaurant in Pitt Street, Sydney. Four years later Romano's Restaurant opened in York Street and in 1946 he purchased and lavishly rebuilt what is the current Romano's Hotel Wagga Wagga.

Romano kept the pub for nearly 20 years before publicly offering it for sale.

Today Romano’s is owned by a syndicate with all members having strong associations with Wagga Wagga.