Pizze­ria mov­ing

Margherita’s leaves Main Street for Park N Shop

Newark Post - - FRONT PAGE - By BROOKE SCHULTZ [email protected]­pub.com

The new year of­fers a new be­gin­ning. Margherita’s Pizza own­ers Rico and Enzo Della-Mon­ica de­cided to cap­i­tal­ize on that by mov­ing their busi­ness from Main Street to the Park N Shop this spring.

“I’m grate­ful for the 27 years that we were here,” Rico said in an in­ter­view at their Main Street pizze­ria in De­cem­ber. “We are look­ing for­ward to the South Main Street, [to] join with our new fam­ily at the Park N Shop Plaza.”

The brothers and busi­ness part­ners be­gan look­ing for al­ter­nate lo­ca­tions fol­low­ing the re­lease of Dan­ne­man & Dan­ne­man LLC’s plans to de­mol­ish the build­ing that houses the pizze­ria – along with Tasty Wok, Playa Bowls and four apart­ments – to con­struct a new build­ing con­tain­ing re­tail space, apart­ments and a ho­tel.

Al­though the plans are still un­cer­tain – and at least three years off – the Del­laMon­i­cas be­gan look­ing to move as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure and ul­ti­mately de­cided to take the avail­able space next to Jerry’s Ar­tarama in the Park N Shop on South Main Street.

“For us, it’s a pos­i­tive move,” Rico said. “Margherita’s Pizza is al­ways go­ing to be the same. Our prod­uct is never go­ing to change. Our loy­alty to the cus­tomer is not go­ing to change.”

Their last day in the Main Street lo­ca­tion was Dec. 23, though they won’t open their doors in the Park N Shop un­til the spring.

When they do, there will be some changes. Rico said there will be more seat­ing, free park­ing and a more con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion for those who live in Ne­wark but don’t want to bat­tle the traf­fic on Main Street.

He also noted some tweaks to the menu, like more pasta dishes, and some seafood and veal. With the ex­panded seat­ing, he plans to add a wait-staff to serve pa­trons.

“On Main Street, my busi­ness is 85 per­cent pizza,” he said. “Univer­sity stu­dents like pizza by the slice – quick, cheap.”

He hopes that the new lo­ca­tion will ap­peal to the lunch crowd of pro­fes­sion­als and city work­ers, and noted the eater y will still of­fer de­liv­ery.

“We’re not far,” he said. “That’s the rea­son why we jumped on this lo­ca­tion.”

As they’re re­moved from East Main Street and the late-night foot traf­fic it pro­vides, they do plan to scale back the hours a bit. Rico said they’re look­ing at a 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. sched­ule.

While he is look­ing ahead for this new chap­ter in Margherita’s his­tor y, he looks at the time on Main Street fondly.

He noted how some of his em­ploy­ees were able to open their own busi­nesses us­ing what they learned from the pizze­ria. Rico even met his wife through Margherita’s, he said.

He will miss the ten­ants who live above the pizze­ria and those who work across the street and stop by for a slice, he added.

“It’s sad to leave. I know I’m go­ing to tear up on Dec. 23, but it’s all for the best,” he said prior to the clos­ing. “I would like to wel­come ev­ery­body to come us to see us our new lo­ca­tion when it’s ready.”

NE­WARK POST PHOTO BY BROOKE SCHULTZ

Margherita’s Pizza own­ers Enzo and Amerigo “Rico” Della-Mon­ica pose for a photo. The pizze­ria closed its doors on Main Street on Dec. 23 and will re­open in the Park N Shop on South Main Street in the spring.

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