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L’inizio, a Vernon Blvd Pizzeria, Has Been Sold

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.

Tom Blase (2014)

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.”

Rear Yard

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L’inizio was by far was one of the best places to hit LIC. Sooo sad to see them go – they had a perfect formula for success from the first day they opened to the last. Great Pizza always fresh and delicious to the great atmosphere and service!
I owner knew exactly what he was doing, made his fortune and got out just in time!! Vernon Blvd is FOOLS GOLD – wink, wink.


You really think the place was making money? I never saw it more than half full. And the pizza was nothing special, especially considering how ridiculously overpriced everything was.


He had a long cheap sweetheart lease and legal outdoor space. That’s why he was able to close a million dollar offer for the space. The rent was super low and the place was making a profit. BTW I did not like or eat the pizza there. I still go to best pizza in Williamsburg or one of the Joe’s Pizza locations for a quick slice.


He did not have a sweetheart lease. The place was for sale 6 months after opening. It was a loser day 1. Plenty of restaurant space available on Vernon Blvd.


5K a month on a space that has a market rate of 10 to 12K is the epitome of a sweet heart deal. Tuti matti wants 350k key money and the lease is like 13k month. The Chinese place is only a 2 year lease. they are tearing it down in 2020. There is just about no restaurant space available right now. Sorry gotoutjustintime you have a lot of mis-information


Yes we should not count Juniors, Alobar, etc. as Restaurant space. The info I have about the rent is from the previous tenant, I know what the Landlord was asking. I am done here but you can go ahead and keep trying to make him look good. Not an easy job, but good luck.


Again gotoutjustintime a lot of wrong info. Juniors was rented to the folks from Mu ramen and is going to be a steakhouse. Alobar was rented to a chicken and waffle place. None of the spaces you mentioned are available. You are just simply wrong. There is just about no space available.


All it took was Slice to break the camels back. I don’t believe for 1 second that he was doing well. The place was odd. Music was often way too loud and not relaxing, nobody wants mandatory table service at a pizza place, too many employees doing too little work, the art on the wall was so ugly it did not fit with the nice interior, the guy was super nice a couple times and then never seemed to recognize you, the food was overpriced and even though quality was high it was lacking in flavor. Every time I went with my family I came out feeling like I got screwed. It would cost $30 for 2 people to have slices and a drink, $50 for my family. I decided to never go there again about 6 months ago. It appears like he is flat out lying in this article.


rrright, with like 50 other businesses closed in that same exact block, somehow this particular location was given an offer “too good to say no”


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