Pizzeria strives to serve people of Whitestone

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Opening a small pizzeria in Whitestone and keeping it successful for the last two years was not a hard task for the Graci brothers.

Salvatore, 28, and Giuseppe Graci, 24, said they have been able to make Pie Zanno’s, at 150-54 14th Ave., a hot spot for diners because they learned about the restaurant business from the best.

Their father, Giovanni, a Sicilian immigrant, ran Happy D’s Pizzeria in Flushing for years and the two said he not only instilled great skills in the kitchen, but also customer service.

“We took what we know and did it ourselves,” said Salvatore Graci, who mostly handles the business end of the restaurant.

Giuseppe Graci, who handles the menu and kitchen side, said he has been working at other restaurants in the city for years and decided to be his own boss. The younger Graci said he not only wants to give customers a better-tasting pizza, but also a better experience when they step through his doors.

“Everything we make here is authentic, and we serve every meal as if you were at home,” he said.

The Gracis said their pizzeria has a notable menu with several speciality dishes, including barbecue chicken pizza and grandma’s pizza. Every day a new selection of specialty pies are rotated to give customers something fresh, according to Giuseppe Graci.

The brothers said they also try to keep their prices low and constantly offer deals, including $10 pies on Sunday.

Aside from the food, Salvatore Graci said he and his brother take great care in their customers’ experience while they are inside. They work not only to get their order made quickly, but memorize their favorite dishes to serve them better when they return.

“We live around here, so we know a lot of people closely,” Giuseppe Graci said.

In the two years since it has opened up, the Gracis said customers come in on a daily basis for lunch and dinner. They adapted their pizzeria to be cozier by adding more tables and give more space to move around.

“We have customers who come out and sit down and talk with others for hours,” Salvatore Graci said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Updated 10:48 am, October 12, 2011
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