The former Louie’s Brooklyn Pizza in Huntington Station has a new name and new owner.
The new name is Catusco’s Pizza. The new owner is an old friend: James Catusco, who used to manage Louie’s and make the shop’s popular pizza pies himself.
“I learned how to make pizza in this place when I was like 20-years-old and started working here,” Catusco, a Walt Whitman High School graduate, said. “And then I ended up managing this place.”
So far, the new pizzeria at 336 Depot Road has been a hit, with lines outside the door. And every day since it opened earlier this month, the restaurant has grown busier, Catusco said. Word of the new pizzeria traveled fast, he said.
After his stint of managing Louies’s and a second pizzeria, Catusco went on to get a new job. But he kept his pizza-making talent fresh by helping his friends make pizzas on Friday nights. He said that he alwaysknew that he wanted to open his own pizza joint.
“I left my other job back in May and this place came up for rent,” Catusco said. “It was perfect timing, and I always loved this location because I have history here and also it’s a smaller location.”
After officially gaining ownership of the business, Catusco said it took some time to repaint and clean the interior, develop the menu and hire staff.
“The chef we have, I’ve known since I started making pizza,” Catusco said. “He was one of the [at Louie’s] and he taught me how to cook. He’s the best chef I’ve ever worked with.”
Working with his chef and new team, Catusco aimed keep the menu very simple, prioritizing quality over quantity. But customers still have plenty of options, with a menu ranging from a simple cheese pizza to a veggie pie or even a parmigiana dinner.
“We kept the menu very small,” Catusco said. “In my experience, over the years, that’s what people order, what’s on the menu right now.”
What sets Catusco’s Pizza apart, the owner said, is the quality of all the menu items they serve.
“We use the best,” Catusco said. “We use grande mozzarella, which in the pizza industry is the best mozzarella, hands down. We use quality tomatoes and we don’t put tons of ingredients into our sauce. We let the tomatoes speak for itself.”
When asked what draws Catusco to pizza, he said he loves to cook and enjoys feeding people great food.
“Me and my family have been waiting years for him to open a famous pizzeria,” said Evan Schleichkor, a longtime friend of Catusco’s who now works for him. “He’s been making pizza for over 20 years and … ever since we’ve been open, it’s been nothing but greatness.”
Catusco’s in pictures
Below are photos taken by Jennifer Corr.
Top: The exterior of Catusco’s Pizza (credit: Facebook).