Just One Drink: Bill & Giuliana Rancic

Reality show couple discusses the process behind opening their Chicago restaurant

There's not much about Bill and Giuliana Rancic's lives we don't know. The high profile couple's lives are documented for everyone to see on their reality TV show, Bill and Giuliana.

So as their decision to open up RPM Italian restaurant in Chicago played out on the small screen, they confronted many of the same decisions potential business owners face, such as location, name and theme.

Not surprisingly, as the winner of the first season of the "Apprentice," Bill Rancic approached the idea from a shrewd business perspective, while also realizing that he was a bit out of his element.

"The one thing I know about the restaurant business is that I know nothing, and if we were going to do it, we'd partner with someone who knows what they're doing and has a great track record," Bill said.

That partnership came in the form of the R.J., Jerrod and Molly Melman and the muscle of Lettuce Entertainment Enterprises. And not surprisingly, what started as an idea to do an old-style Italian restaurant based on the recipes of Mama DiPandi (Giuliana's mother), turned into something more modern that befits its River North neighborhood, while still keeping a touch of that old school charm.

But the Rancics say they've added more than just their celebrity to the mix. They were very involved in every aspect of the restaurant's concept, even though they spent most of the time on the West Coast.

"We've been doing a lot of weekends, we'll arrive in Chicago like 10 p.m. on a Friday and out by Monday morning," Guiliana said.

"We started tasting the first iteration of the menu over six months ago, and some of these items have changed 30 times, and we tweaked it here and there and everybody gave their input, but it was a real good team effort," Bill said.

The process of building the restaurant will be one of the major themes of the upcoming season of the reality show when it begins airing April 2 on the Style Network.

Videography by Cam Be and Summer Nettles.

Check out the blog Friday for a Just One Drink segment with R.J. and Jerrod Melman.

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