The three cousins who own Bayside’s VIPizza said their eatery is not only the last pizzeria in the borough to strictly serve pizza and soda, but also the only one that delivers pies to customers who live thousands of miles away.
The pizzeria, at 43−02 Bell Blvd. in Bayside, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this spring. The restaurant first opened as Bell Pizza at a site two doors down on Bell Boulevard in 1959, changed hands twice, became Ed’s Pizza and in 1995 moved to its current locale as VIPizza.
At least one person operating the pizzeria at any given time has been related to one of the previous owners, said Mike Guercio, one of the current co−owners. Now Guercio and his two cousins, Luigi Dammassa and Peter Agorious, run the operation, using the same recipes as when the eatery first opened.
“It’s an original, old fashioned−style pizzeria that serves only pizza and fountain soda,” Guercio said. “There’s no heroes, no pasta and no deliveries. If you want it, you have to come get it. Most of the people who come here have been coming since they were little kids.”
Dammassa said the pizzeria will redecorate its interior and exterior in mid−April for its anniversary and will hand out free drinks with slices and bottles with pies. He said most of the eatery’s customers have been dining there for years.
“We’ve kept the same recipes going back generation to generation for 50 years,” he said. “People move away to New Jersey or Connecticut and come back here to eat.”
Guercio said some patrons from even farther away still place orders. The pizzeria has sent pies to customers from the neighborhood who are now living in Florida and California.
“People say, ‘I grew up on this pizza, make me a Sicilian pie,’ ” he said. “We’ll freeze it and send it to them.”
He said the restaurant’s most popular items are its Sicilian, margherita and spicy chicken pizzas.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.
©2009 Community News Group
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.