Sections

Bayside pizzeria celebrates 20th anniversary

Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

“Pete’s Pizza is kind of famous,” he said with a laugh on a recent spring morning about the business he has co-owned with his cousin and friend, Thomas...

By Kathianne Boniello

It is with a twinkle in his eye and a quick, shy smile that Nick Bakirtsis makes his admission.

“Pete’s Pizza is kind of famous,” he said with a laugh on a recent spring morning about the business he has co-owned with his cousin and friend, Thomas Anagnos, since 1982.

Reflecting on the 20 years the pair has spent serving pizza, Greek salads, spinach pies and Italian ices their loyal Bayside customers, Anagnos said “we’re proud of our store.”

With a varied menu and uniquely friendly service, Bakirtsis and Anagnos run the store at 39-26 Bell Blvd. as if it were an extension of their homes, treating customers to sociable banter and creating a place where a range of people come for lunch and dinner.

To celebrate their 20th anniversary Bakirtsis and Anagnos are planning a series of special sales to reward their customers.

The fame of Pete’s Pizza and the pair’s dedication to their work shows: the restaurant is packed day after day with customers lined up at the takeout counter and waiting to be served at tables from early afternoon to late evening.

The partners said the secret to their success is simple.

“I always enjoyed working in Bayside,” said Anagnos, who grew up in Woodside. “I feel like I started yesterday.”

Bakirtsis, who was raised in Flushing, said “to do this you have to love people — we love people. If you don’t love people, you’re going to get tired.”

If either Bakirtsis or Anagnos were to lose interest in the business, it would have happened a long time ago. Both grew up watching their fathers, who were friends, run their own restaurants.

“My father was in this business for many years,” Anagnos said. “Since I was 12 years old I was working with my dad.”

Anagnos bought his first restaurant when he was 17, just two or three blocks away from where Pete’s Pizza is now. After a year, he said, he got tired of the work and sold that store.

After five years of working in other communities and restaurants, Anagnos said he was ready to try again and bought Pete’s Pizza from its namesake and original owner.

Joined by Bakirtsis later on, Anagnos said the two decided to keep the name “Pete” because of its family significance. Anagnos’ grandfather and brother as well as Bakirtsis’ father were named Pete.

“We kept the name and we never regretted it,” Anagnos said. Referring to his grandfather, Anagnos said: “I’m proud to have his name here.”

A strong sense of family and a love of what they do are not the only things that keep Bakirtsis and Anagnos going.

Bakirtsis said “we’re cousins, but we’re also friends mostly.

“Sometimes you hate your cousin,” he said, laughing. “You have to be friends.”

Interwoven into that friendship is a love affair with Bayside that Anagnos said shows no sign of waning.

“Bayside changes, but always Bayside is beautiful,” he said. “We appreciate the Bayside community — we’re going to try to do the best we can to serve them for many, many years to come.”

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like TimesLedger on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group