Steve LoGiudice wants customers to dine well and comfortably in his Long Island City restaurant.
“I want to give people what I want to eat and what I eat at home,” said the co-owner of Centro Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen, located at 47-23 Vernon Blvd.
The Astoria resident opened Centro in February of this year with his father Stefano, after purchasing the business from the owners of the former L’inizio Pizza Bar. Though Centro is still fairly new, LoGiudice said that he “couldn’t be happier” with their choice to locate the business in Long Island City.
“I always loved LIC. It’s a great area with so much potential,” said LoGiudice, who adds that the neighborhood has a “cozy town feel.”
During the first four months of business, LoGiudice said that he has gotten great feedback from customers who said that they enjoy the food as well as the restaurant’s homey atmosphere. He shares that the business has also gotten its fair share of repeat and regular customers.
As for the food, he said that pizza, of course, is the most popular item on the menu, with choices like buffalo chicken, penne alla vodka and eggplant and tomato. The owner mentioned that all the ingredients to make the dishes, including the meat and produce, are locally sourced, and that supporting local vendors is important to him.
Centro also has an outside garden next to their patio area, where LoGiudice said they grow fresh mint, parsley and basil for the house-made pesto.
Customers have the option to enjoy wine and beer with their meal, which elevates the restaurant from the typical pizzeria experience in New York City.
LoGiudice said that he has worked in the pizza business since childhood. Before opening Centro, the restaurateur worked in his father’s Queens pizzeria for 20 years.
In the future, LoGiudice said that he wants to expand his business and open other establishments, but for now, his focus is on Centro.
“I consider [Centro] a baby,” he said and added that he’ll consider expansion as it continues to grow.
Although Centro is a business, LoGiudice takes a warm and familial approach to running it.
“I love feeding [the customers] and I want them to come and be comfy and feel like they’re home,” he said.