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New pizzeria on Vernon, aims to cater to LIC’s kids

Tom Blaze

Tom Blaze

Oct. 28, 2013 By Christian Murray

A new pizzeria that is opening on Vernon Blvd this February will be a big draw for Long Island City’s kids, the new owner predicts.

“The rear year is large and is ideal for children’s pizza parties,” said Tom Blaze who will open the 47-23 Vernon Blvd restaurant. “This is what attracted me to opening it.”

Blaze said Long Island City is a neighborhood where there are plenty of children, yet there are few places for them to have a party. “Nothing beats a pizza party, where the kids can make their own pizza.”

The rear yard is roughly 1,200 square feet, the same size as the interior.

The pizzeria will be for casual dining and there will not be table service. However, he said that he will be renovating the interior–to ensure the decor is inviting. He said he will completely transform the store’s existing frontage.

Blaze said the focus will be on pizza, although he will sell salads, sandwiches, mozzarella cheese and bread.

Blaze said the mozzarella cheese will be made in-house. Meanwhile, the bread will be locally produced.  “We aim to keep all our products as local and organic as possible,” he said.

Blaze grew up and lives in Long Island City. He is a broker at Modern Spaces, about a block away from his new pizzeria on Vernon Blvd.

“Real estate remains a passion of mine,” Blaze said. He said that he has hired an Italian pizza maker (who has been in New York for the past 10 years) who will come on board when he opens.

Meanwhile, his sister will manage the day-to-day operations.

Blaze said that he plans to call the pizzeria “L’inizio”, which in English means a new beginning.

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When is this place opening?? February and now March has come and gone. Definitely need this in LIC!!!


We need a pizza place that makes different kind of pizzas. Like a salad slice, a grandma pizza maybe a good grilled chicken salad and decent buffalo wings also. There’s nothing like that in Long Island City. Overdue

Liz from Cityview cleaners

Good luck to BLaze and family and thanks for including kids in your plan. I’m sure it wil be a great addition to an already fabulous neighborhood.


I spoke with the owner. The article has it wrong. This place will be great for adults as well. The mozzarella will be made on premises. In the back there will be a wine bar type area with fresh sliced meats/cheeses. Very upscale but also good for a slice or ordering pies.


To the business owner, you’re getting some valuable free customer feedback on this site. I know some of the comments might be hard to hear, but I think you would find similar comments from many other potential patrons if you hired a marketing analysis firm to do customer research for you.

Focus on the pizza slice and vibe of the place. Think back to some of the great pizza joints and try to re-create that atmosphere in LIC. Like the previous Anonymous says, make sure the kiddies don’t dominate the space because you’ll lose a lot of business.


Agree with Anon
Its tough to gauge just how ‘kid friendly’ this place is going to be…LIC needs a nice, casual place to pick up a slice of pizza. sit down, hangout…stop by after going out…its a necessity. Turning a pizza joint on Vernon into a chucky cheese sounds weird.
hopefully he can use the back for parties on weekends and still maintain a cool restaurant for people who want to enjoy a good slice….
keeping my fingers crossed for a nice place.


This is a great concept for this area. There is no good place to get a slice. It looks like they are planning a high quality place with a nice atmosphere.


Oh, boy. I’ll be more charitable than the previous two commenters. But I think the owner — by focusing on this kiddie pizza-making party restaurant concept a la Chuckie Cheese — is unwisely passing up on a far more lucrative possibilities for his space.

As a lover of great old-time, no-frills, quality New York pizza, I would definitely think twice about going to a place overrun with kids sticking their grubby hands in dough and sauce. Maybe there more than enough Concerned Moms out there who will flock to the place with cute Elis and Mollies in tow. (Moms, just make sure you keep their precious little hands out of the oven.)


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