Paul Saccoccio and his family run the highly-popular Gino’s Pizzeria of Ronkonkoma. Many locals can tell you that, even if they don’t know Paul’s last name.
He and a childhood friend, Cliff Weinstein, set out last year to make a new name for themselves, one that will be recognized across the county: The Pizzeria.
Paul has teamed up with Weinstein, who is in finance, with the idea for fresh, modern pizza shops serving up top-notch food across Suffolk and Nassau counties.
“We met on the soccer fields 30 years ago,” said Weinstein on his relationship with his buddy Paul. “We became teammates, and soon later became best friends.”
They also brought in Paul’s brother, Dan Saccoccio, on this venture.
The Pizzeria locations are now operating in Smith Haven Mall, which opened in October 2020; Bayport, which opened in December 2020; and, soon, Islip. The crew is taking over the old Pizza Parm location.
“The most important thing for us is immersing ourselves in the community and becoming a part of that family,” Paul said.
Paul, 38, has been in the pizza game for about 20 years through Gino’s Pizzeria of Ronkonkoma. The Holtsville native says the best part about all of this is the people he gets to meet along the way.
“I mean how cool is that?” Paul said. “To open up these businesses and see these people on a daily basis and learn about their children’s soccer games and their husband’s birthday party. We really start to become part of these families, and to be able to keep doing that in all these towns, what’s better than that?”
“We’re usually behind the counter, but those times when I’m at home doing work, I just want to be here,” Weinstein added.
David and Jacob Zwaik of Bayport’s DJT Development are also now part of the ownership team, as well as Carlos Delgado, an owner of Noble Savage Barbershop in Bay Shore.
The Pizzeria co-founders plan to expand even more across the South Shore, and they’ve already signed a lease for what will be their fourth location — but those details are top secret for now.
“We love the South Shore,” Paul said. “It’s a great place to be, it’s fun, it’s up and coming, and it just makes so much sense for us to be there.”
The Pizzeria in Islip does not have a set opening date yet, but Paul and Weinstein say they are aiming to open the doors in early May.
“We want to feed people really good food and we want them to look forward to coming here,” Weinstein said.
Follow GreaterLongIsland.com to keep up to date with The Pizzeria’s grand opening and future expansion.
Top: The Pizzeria co-founders Paul Saccoccio and Cliff Weinstein