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Clara & Ray's Ristorante

share your Italian traditions at clara & ray's ristorante italiano! 

As part of our International Representative Program with Clara & Ray's Ristorante Italiano, you will receive the chance of a lifetime to learn and work in a family Italian restaurant located in beautiful Lexington, South Carolina, USA.


Clara & Ray’s Ristorante Italiano is a family owned Italian restaurant that serves delicious New York-style pizza and pasta dishes in beautiful South Carolina. They have been recognized for having the best pizza in the capital area for two years in a row! They were chosen to cook at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia for two years. Their family-inspired  cuisine is rooted in the Napolitano region of Italy.


Bring your Italian culture and traditions to the restaurant and to the customers by being a part of the International Representative program. The program is designed for young Italian people who are willing to share their culture, Italian culinary traditions, the Italian language and more.


As a Cultural Representative, you will interact with our restaurant guests and let them experience the beauty and warmth of the Italian people and their inspiring heritage.


Your life in sunny south carolina

You will have the opportunity to work for 12 months under a United States “Q1” Visa, providing an authentic Italian experience to our guests.


Clara & Ray’s Ristorante Italiano is located in Lexington, South Carolina, which is home to beautiful Lake Murray. Spanning 66 kilometers long and 23 kilometers wide, Lake Murray is a favorite spot for boating, sailing, fishing, kayaking, paddle- boarding, and much more.


Lexington is a suburb of Columbia, the state capital. Columbia is home to The Columbia Museum of Art, The Koger Center for the Performing Arts, the South Carolina State Museum (which includes a beautiful new planetarium), and the award-winning Riverbanks Zoo.


South Carolina features some of the most awesome white sandy beaches on the east coast of the United States. From Myrtle Beach to Hilton Head, South Carolina is a beach lover's paradise.


90 minutes to the north is Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte is home to the Charlotte Panthers (NFL), and the Charlotte Hornets (NBA).


Clara & Ray's - A family story

Told by John Immerso, co-owner of the restaurant :


"The story of Clara & Ray’s Ristorante Italiano is a family story. Clara and Ray were my parents, but the story really begins with my grandmother, Amelia. She was born in the town of Paduli, in the Province of Benevento in Italy. Amelia came to the United States in 1920 with her family and lived in New York. As a teenage girl, she met Giacomo and soon the two were married.


Their first child was a beautiful girl...Clara, my mother.  At her mother’s side, Clara learned to cook and how to prepare a meal with care and love.


When I moved to South Carolina with my wife Tracey and our friends Brian and Kristin, we discovered that there were no real authentic Italian restaurants in the area. So in 2007, we decided to open up a family owned Italian restaurant, giving people a delicious taste of Italian cuisine, using many of our family recipes! We have our family pizza dough from my Grandma Amelia and pasta sauce (marinara sauce) from my Mom, Clara. My grandmother taught me how to make homemade ravioli, gnocchi, bracciole and many other Italian dishes and desserts. My mother also taught me how to make homemade meatballs, chicken cutlets, eggplant, manicotti, zeppole, struffoli, biscotti and more.


We feel so honored to be able to share these amazing recipes with the people in the community. Clara and Ray always enjoyed having people around them. My Mom was always in the kitchen cooking and she loved doing it. They were a remarkable couple. In honor of them both and to keep people enjoying these family recipes, we named the restaurant after them!


We look forward to seeing you at our family ristorante!









  • Restaurant Server ($6.00/hour + tips)

Your role will be to welcome, seat, advise and serve guests. You must be able to problem solve and maintain cleanliness of work area.


  • Pizza / Pasta Chef ($10.00/hour)

Your role will be to prepare and cook pizzas, pasta and other dishes, in front of the guests (the restaurant has an open kitchen). You must be able to problem solve and maintain cleanliness of work area.



  • 12 months contract
  • 30 to 40 hours per week
  • 2 days off per week
  • Q1 visa sponsored and provided by the employer
  • Housing in nearby apartment complex (rent of $145/week will be deducted from salary)
  • 1 free meal while at work, 50% discount during non-work hours



  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have an Italian citizenship and passport
  • Speak English
  • Be available for 12 months
  • Have a good personal presentation, a friendly smile and an enthusiastic personality




You will live in a large three bedroom apartment suite with four roommates from Italy. In addition to the three bedrooms, there are two bathrooms, a living room/dining room, and kitchen with breakfast bar. The apartments come fully furnished including internet and a flat screen TV. The apartment complex has a swimming pool, fitness center, picnic areas, and more. It is near all amenities: supermarkets, retail stores, banks, coffee shops, etc.


Your bedroom will be shared with 1 other person. 5 persons per apartment maximum. There is one single bedroom that will be available for a small additional monthly charge.


The rent ($145 per week) will be directly deducted from your salary.



The recruitment is currently over for this program, all positions have been filled !