7 BRONX WEEKLY February 9, 2020 www.BXTimes.com
Arthur Ave.’s Mario’s Restaurant celebrates 100 Years
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BY JASON COHEN
As restaurants struggle to stay
open throughout the city due to escalating
minimum wage, and increasing
rent and property taxes,
one eatery in the Bronx continues
its formula for success for a century.
Mario’s Pizza, located on 2342
Arthur Avenue, has been making
Neapolitan Italian cuisine the
same way for 100 years. Joe Migliucci
and his daughter Regina
Migliucci-Delfi no operate the fi vegeneration
landmark, but the story
began many years ago.
In 1915 Migliucci’s great grandmother,
Scolastica Migliucci and
her son Giuseppe opened a small
pizzeria in Harlem.
One day while shopping in ‘Little
Italy’ in the Bronx, they saw an
empty storefront and realized it
was the perfect place for a restaurant.
So, they closed their Harlem
shop and four years later launched
G. Migliucci Vera Pizzeria.
Giuseppe who had two kids
of his own, Mario and Clemente,
eventually changed the name to
“We all have the same passion,”
Migliucci-Delfi no said. “We care
about each other.”
Migliucci-Delfi no recalled that
when she was a teenager, Mario’s
was her second home. She would
spend her weekends there, admiring
her dad and grandpa.
Her grandparents Mario and
Rose were a huge part of her life.
They instilled in her the passion
for the business and showed her
how to treat people.
“They were very well known in
the community,” she said. “She was
the matriarch of Arthur Avenue”
According to Migliucci-Delfi no,
her friends thought it was the coolest
thing that her family owned an
iconic restaurant, but to her it was
She didn’t plan to work there,
but when the second fl oor was
added for catering in the late 80s
she left her job as an offi ce manager
and came there fulltime.
The place that began as a small
pizzeria seated 15 people, but today
holds up to 400 guests and is jampacked
every weekend. She noted
there were customers that had
their own table each week.
Migliucci-Delfi no explained
the business hasn’t always been
sunshine and roses. Times were
hard after 9/11 and the recession
But their patience, dedication
to customers and the fact that 90
percent of the recipes are the same
since they opened, has always kept
people coming back.
“You never want to have someone
unhappy,” she said. If something’s
wrong I want you to tell me.
Not everybody likes everything.”
The passion for the business
has continued with her family. Her
son, Damian, who plans to attend
college in the fall, helps out at the
restaurant and her brother, Michael,
She noted that some people open
restaurants hoping to become millionaires,
but it’s really about providing
good food and service for
“It’s the hardest business to
make that type of money,” she explained.
“You have to love what you
do. I took a lot from my grandparents,
who had the passion for
the business, the people and the
Mario’s Pizza on Arthur Ave. hosts media kick off for Little Italy Restaraunt Week. Participants behind table: San Gennaro
- Gennaro Martinelli, Gerbasi - George Befanis, Council Member Ritchie Torres, Belmont BID - Frank Franz, Mario’s - Regina
Delfi no, Ann & Tony’s - Ralph Napolitano, Michaelangelo’s - Dawn Iturriaga and Bronx Tourism Council - Olga Tirado.
Schneps Media Jason Cohen