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Bayside eatery celebrates 25 years

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The menu at Bayside’s popular Pete’s Famous Restaurant and Pizzeria may be changing, but the faces have stayed the same at the Bell Boulevard?based eatery for the past decade.

The restaurant, now under new management, is belatedly celebrating its 25th anniversary with a variety of new menu items, including tilapia, chicken francese, shrimp kabob, whole wheat pizza, deep dish pizza and chicken marsala, owner Ted Apodiacos said.

“The menu has changed since I stepped into play,” he said. “We are using different quality cheeses and tomato sauces and I’ve increased the quality of the product. And we use fresh ingredients — basil, fresh herbs — which make a really big difference in the quality of our food.”

He said the pizzeria, which has a devoted customer base in the neighborhood, is expanding its menu to compete with the numerous other restaurants that have opened along Bell Boulevard in recent years.

“We are really trying to grasp the market like other franchises are doing,” he said. “We are trying to give people a variety.”

Pete’s, which was opened in 1981 by Bayside resident Peter Hios, is located at 39?26 Bell Blvd. Apodiacos, who had previously managed the pizzeria, bought Pete’s from Tommy Anagnos, who still acts as the building’s landlord, and took over its operations in July.

Apodiacos said the restaurant’s most popular items are buffalo chicken and barbeque pizza.

But the owner said the pizzeria’s staff has also helped to keep its customer base loyal.

“People have known us for years,” said Apodiacos. “Most of our staff members have been here for 10 years. We’re a family restaurant.”

Among Pete’s longtime staff are Aldo “Pizza Man” Alaa and waitress Olga Ross, who has worked at the pizzeria for 16 years.

“A place doesn’t stick around this long unless it is doing something right,” Apodiacos said. “And now we are trying to do even better.”

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Pete’s is now offering 25 percent off its menu through Nov. 24, Apodiacos said. The restaurant is open from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays through Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 4 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

Pete’s currently delivers to Bayside residents, but will soon expand service to Douglaston, Oakland Gardens and other northeastern Queens neighborhoods, Apodiacos said.

“Restaurants on Bell Boulevard have come and gone, but Pete’s Pizza has always given good, friendly service and quality food,” Anagnos said. “We’ve been very happy here.”

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e?mail at nduke@timesledger.com or by phone at 718?229?0300, Ext. 156.

Updated 7:09 pm, September 14, 2011
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