HugeDinghy

anyone excited about pepe's pizza coming to RI?

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....I went to college in new haven...hoping its still as good as it used to be (even though its not all its hyped up to be, its still good pie)...although expansion and franchising usually means that the quality goes way (way) down.

 

 

 

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is coming to Rhode Island. The New Haven, Connecticut, pizzeria that started in 1925 will open its 10th restaurant in Warwick come late April or May.

It will occupy 4,800 square feet in the space most recently The Corner Bakery Cafe at 21 Universal Blvd. off Bald Hill Road. It will seat 90 diners and employee about 30 people.

“The Pepe family is very excited to move into Rhode Island,” said Gary Bimonte in a phone interview. He is the grandson of Frank Pepe, third generation co-owner of the business and director of quality assurance and training.

He said Rhode Island has been on their expansion wish list for a while because a lot of their customers come from the Ocean State. It was 12 years ago that Pepe’s pizza opened its first pizzeria outside of New Haven where diners still line up on Wooster Street for thin crust pizza cooked in a coal-fired oven. Today there are more Pepe’s across Connecticut as well as in Yonkers, N.Y., and Newton, Mass.

They considered locating in Providence on Federal Hill but felt parking could be a problem.

“We felt the busy area of Route 2 was right for us,” he said.

The star of the restaurant, beyond the pizza, which includes a signature white clam, will be the all brick, coal-fired oven.

“It weighs 100,000 pounds and takes six weeks to build, all by hand,” Bimonte said.

Once built, the oven has to cure for four weeks at 600 degrees to dry it out, he said. Bimonte will then be among those tasked with seasoning the oven with beef and pork renderings and lard. It helps gives the pizza the flavors for which Pepe’s is known.

Seasoning the oven will even include flipping over pizza to let the oil and tomatoes melt into the brick, Bimonte said.

The menu will include Pepe salads, which can be ordered with grilled chicken that is also cooked in the oven as are roasted red peppers.

Bimonte said the pizza’s reputation is built on his grandfather’s original recipes, which use only the finest imported ingredients.

Frank Pepe is considered one of the first to serve pizza in a restaurant, at a time bakeries sold all the pizza.

He worked in a quarry in Italy before he came to the U.S. as a young man. He returned to Italy to serve in World War I, Bimonte said. When he came back to New Haven, he was married and worked in a bakery. He started his own bakery and started selling bread and dough with sauce on it, from a cart. He opened his pizzeria in 1925 and bought the building next door in 1937.

To keep his grandfather’s legacy alive (he died in 1969), Pepe’s started this expansion of restaurants, and Bimonte said there is no end in site. They hope to grow to 30 to 40 restaurants and include restaurants in the D.C. metro area.

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i ate there many a time when at Quinnipiac! Great stop before or after drinking!  Will def check that out!

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I don't think they used enough lard and pork by-products when seasoning the oven. The Chestnut Hill Pies in Mass are not as good as CT.

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5 hours ago, HugeDinghy said:

....I went to college in new haven...hoping its still as good as it used to be (even though its not all its hyped up to be, its still good pie)...although expansion and franchising usually means that the quality goes way (way) down.

 

 

 

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is coming to Rhode Island. The New Haven, Connecticut, pizzeria that started in 1925 will open its 10th restaurant in Warwick come late April or May.

It will occupy 4,800 square feet in the space most recently The Corner Bakery Cafe at 21 Universal Blvd. off Bald Hill Road. It will seat 90 diners and employee about 30 people.

“The Pepe family is very excited to move into Rhode Island,” said Gary Bimonte in a phone interview. He is the grandson of Frank Pepe, third generation co-owner of the business and director of quality assurance and training.

He said Rhode Island has been on their expansion wish list for a while because a lot of their customers come from the Ocean State. It was 12 years ago that Pepe’s pizza opened its first pizzeria outside of New Haven where diners still line up on Wooster Street for thin crust pizza cooked in a coal-fired oven. Today there are more Pepe’s across Connecticut as well as in Yonkers, N.Y., and Newton, Mass.

They considered locating in Providence on Federal Hill but felt parking could be a problem.

“We felt the busy area of Route 2 was right for us,” he said.

The star of the restaurant, beyond the pizza, which includes a signature white clam, will be the all brick, coal-fired oven.

“It weighs 100,000 pounds and takes six weeks to build, all by hand,” Bimonte said.

Once built, the oven has to cure for four weeks at 600 degrees to dry it out, he said. Bimonte will then be among those tasked with seasoning the oven with beef and pork renderings and lard. It helps gives the pizza the flavors for which Pepe’s is known.

Seasoning the oven will even include flipping over pizza to let the oil and tomatoes melt into the brick, Bimonte said.

The menu will include Pepe salads, which can be ordered with grilled chicken that is also cooked in the oven as are roasted red peppers.

Bimonte said the pizza’s reputation is built on his grandfather’s original recipes, which use only the finest imported ingredients.

Frank Pepe is considered one of the first to serve pizza in a restaurant, at a time bakeries sold all the pizza.

He worked in a quarry in Italy before he came to the U.S. as a young man. He returned to Italy to serve in World War I, Bimonte said. When he came back to New Haven, he was married and worked in a bakery. He started his own bakery and started selling bread and dough with sauce on it, from a cart. He opened his pizzeria in 1925 and bought the building next door in 1937.

To keep his grandfather’s legacy alive (he died in 1969), Pepe’s started this expansion of restaurants, and Bimonte said there is no end in site. They hope to grow to 30 to 40 restaurants and include restaurants in the D.C. metro area.

Im Not Reading all that . :laugh: I heard there is one in a casino in ct . Pies are small and very expensive . Thats second hand info so I'm not sure . 30 Years having the boat in watch hill been to foxwoods 1 time 

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Being from NJ where the pizza is 2nd best (NYC is #1), I'd give Pepe's a thumbs up and well worth frequenting. Been to the one in New Haven a few tims and on in the Mohegan Sun a few times, both are very good. Never hurts to have a good pizza joint nearby, and my visits to Rhody never included a pizzeria. 

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Been to the original many times as I grew up outside New Haven.  I gauge all the pizza I eat against it.  None better.  Hope it's as good in Warwick.

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21 hours ago, Kooky said:

i ate there many a time when at Quinnipiac! Great stop before or after drinking!  Will def check that out!

when were you at Q? I bet we hit up a few coin drink nights at toads place, together,  and didn't even know it :laugh:

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2 hours ago, HugeDinghy said:

when were you at Q? I bet we hit up a few coin drink nights at toads place, together,  and didn't even know it :laugh:

Graduated in 2000, i completely forgot about Toad's but used to hit that up quite frequently.Took a few U-New Haven girls home from there. :hi5:  Although the ratio at Quinnipiac was amazing so never needed to poach from other schools much.

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I've been to the one in Danbury, the one in Mohegan Sun, the one in Fairfield, CT and the original in New Haven, all pretty good. RI needs a good pizza joint, even the ones on Federal Hill aren't very good.

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