The Pizzeria is about to open in Babylon Village; here’s a sneak peek


The much-anticipated opening of The Pizzeria in Babylon is upon us.

In the meantime, some finishing touches are being worked out inside The Pizzeria, located at the prominent corner of Cooper and Main streets on the village’s eastern border.

But the owners are ready.

“We have the gateway to Babylon and hopefully the village will be proud of what we resurrected here,” said Cliff Weinstein, a co-founder of The Pizzeria, which now counts six locations in Suffolk County, starting with a spot in the Smith Haven Mall in October of 2020.

Babylon’s official opening date is April 22. This will be the largest pizzeria in the company’s portfolio. And the third location with a bar.

“The bar is huge, with 32 seats,” Weinstein said. “I never designed a center bar. It’s challenging with no wall to work with but with all the brass, I think it came out pretty cool.”

And Greater Long Island got a sneak peek.

The entire space is outfitted in brass and wood with splashes of blues and greens.

Weinstein describes the design style as modern coastal.

But the vibe will be casual, he stressed.

“Casual and family friendly,” he said. “Flip-flops, suits, construction workers. It’ll be the same type of feel of Bay Shore and Lindenhurst. And a community place, a place to come after the Little League games.”

“Well probably launch brunch in a month or two, which will be fun,” he added. “We’ll have live music, happy hour specials, eventually. Then we’ll start to expand on the menu a little bit.

“The whole kitchen has been trained up and ready to go; they’ve been training for three months.”

Scroll down for the photos.

How Babylon happened

The Pizzeria, as a company, was founded by Weinstein, Paul Saccoccio and Paul’s brother, Dan.

The partners have a map of Long Island that’s inked with circles around villages and hamlets in which they want The Pizzeria to plant a flag.

“But we’ve been eager to find a location in Babylon since we started in 2020,” Weinstein told Greater Long Island last year.

One day last year Weinstein and Paul were together in Paul’s car and approaching the village’s everyday traffic crawl along Main Street. They found themselves stuck at the light in front of the Cooper Street restaurant, which was still open.

“We look up and I’m like, ‘That would be a great spot’ for a Pizzeria,” Paul recalled.

“That would be a home-run spot,” Weinstein replied.

“Two weeks later I’m at the bar at The Pizzeria in Bay Shore with a local real estate agent who I’m friendly with,” Paul said. “And he goes, ‘Any interest in Cooper Street?'”

Paul was very interested.

The partners “sprinted” right over.

By February 2023 they were in business with a lease in Babylon. Work started that March.

The project ran “over budget and longer than expected but we took it down to the cinderblocks, so it’s basically a brand-new building,” Weinstein said this week. “But it’s so pretty.”

What’s in store

“We’re trying to make this the community spot. The soccer moms can bring their kids here after practice. If you want a drink, you can get a casual drink,” Paul previously told Greater Long Island. “Or you just want to relax and have a slice of pizza.

“We want this to be the village’s go-to spot where you’re comfortable. And we just really want to immerse ourselves here and become, well, Babylonians.”

Aside from the pizzas, catering and Italian dishes, which all get rave reviews, the partners emphasize that they’re not running a pizza company, but a hospitality company.

“Our job is to give people a feeling,” Paul had said. “We want you to be greeted with a smiling face behind the counter, bartenders who know your name. That’s what we’re in this business to do, make people happy, to giggle and laugh … We want them to think, ‘I don’t know what it is, but there’s something different about this place and it makes me feel good.’”

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