Jan. 22, 2018, By Christian Murray
L’inizio, a well-known pizzeria located at 47-23 Vernon Blvd, has been sold and a new operator is in the process of taking over the establishment.
Tom Blaze, the owner of L’inizio, said business was strong and that the new owners made him a great offer.
“Business was great, but when someone comes in and makes you a great offer you take it,” Blaze said.
Blaze did not disclose how much was paid for the pizzeria or the terms of the deal.
The new owners will be opening the establishment as Centro Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen in coming days. Blaze was not sure of what changes will be made and the new operators could not be reached.
L’inizio, which opened in 2014, was known for its thin crust pizza baked in rectangular pans. The mozzarella and ricotta cheese was made on site, and the herbs and vegetables were grown in its rear-yard.
Blaze took over the space from Mario’s Deli, which had been at that location for nearly 20 years.
He spent a year gutting the venue and injected a lot of capital in overhauling the space before opening.
The establishment was noteworthy for its exposed brick walls,1950s murals, timber floors and granite counter tops. The back yard, where he held parties, was immaculately landscaped.
Blaze said that he made his money back on the investment in two years because business was good. He said revenue increased year by year.
Blaze said he is a big fan of the pizza business and is considering opening a pizzeria in another Hunters Point location.
“We are looking at other locations,” he said. “The pizza business is fantastic and we were pretty successful so why not continue.”
Blaze said that he has received a large volume of phone calls and e-mails from residents upset that the business closed.
“Hunters Point embraced us,” Blaze, a life-long resident, said. “But the offer was so good. I couldn’t turn it down, it was so appealing.”