This weekend, an iconic Bayside pizzeria is celebrating 60 years in the business.
VIPizza at 43-02 Bell Blvd. is hosting a day of giveaways, live music and 60 cent slices on Saturday, May 18. From noon to 1 p.m., the pizzeria is selling 60 cent regular or Sicilian slices and will be giving away free VIPizza T-shirts for the first 60 customers to purchase any large pie starting at 1:30 p.m.
“We’re gonna have live music. We’re gonna be giving out some gifts, keychains and stuff like that,” said Luigi D’Ammassa, one of the store’s owners.
D’Ammassa, Peter Agorious and Francisco Lara currently own the pizzeria, which has been in the family since 2008. Prior to them, the Oddo brothers owned the shop in 1985 and were responsible for moving it to its landmark corner location.
Since its inception in 1959, D’Ammassa said that they used the original owners’ recipe to make their signature pies. D’Ammassa shared that what sets VI apart from other pizzerias is that they only sell pizzas and calzones.
“The most important thing is that [VIPizza] has a reputation of maybe having the best Sicilian. We’re known for our Sicilian. Everything else is also great but the Sicilian is the one that really stands out,” said D’Ammassa.
He added that when customers move away, they come back from as far as California to indulge in a slice of tasty nostalgia.
“The people that move away, they come back because they remember for years since they were kids,” D’Ammassa said. “I hear so many of the stories, it’s unbelievable. They come back to visit and they come to VI.”
D’Ammassa credits their longtime success to a dedication to creating a quality product for customers. Most days he’s in the shop as early as 8 a.m. preparing pies for their 11 a.m. start time.
“The clientele is great, the community is wonderful. We love everybody here, we appreciate them coming back. We try to do our best to accommodate them in every which way — service, quality and everything else.”
VIPizza’s 60th-anniversary celebration is on Saturday, May 18 starting at noon. For more information, visit their website at vipizzabayside.com.