A longtime Ozone Park pizzeria and restaurant has new owners, a new look and a new menu — but its identity remains the same.
Aldo’s Pizza & Restaurant held its grand re-opening on Feb. 19 under the leadership of Anthony and Joe Livreri, brothers raised in Glendale who also own Mr. Bruno’s Pizzeria in East Elmhurst. They brought with them a revamped menu with traditional Sicilian fare and more than 30 varieties of pizza, but upholding the Aldo’s name was also a priority.
“It’s been here for so long and it’s got such a good name,” Anthony Livreri said. “I just wanted to bring the place back up to what it was. It was in the wrong hands for a short period of time.”
When the pizzeria’s namesake owner, Aldo Calore, retired from the business in 2014, the new management made a mess of the place, he said. When he went to see what the Livreri brothers had done to renovate the space, Calore said that he knew it was in good hands once again.
“It’s beautiful. These guys know what they’re doing,” Calore said. “They do everything excellent and they go out of their way to buy good stuff, not cheap.”
Although the Livreri brothers have been running Aldo’s since Jan. 2, the dining room was under renovation and was opened for the first time at the re-opening party on Monday, Feb. 19. The room was filled with Italian cheer as friends and family members came to congratulate the brothers on their latest venture, eat from a buffet of fresh entrees and drinks from the updated bar.
The brothers describe their new menu as simple and traditional, with meals such as lamb chops, skirt steaks, rib-eye steaks, a variety of fish, pasta and a large selection of appetizers and salads. The pizza menu is anything but simple, however, with a brand-new, 26-foot showcase in the restaurant that is stocked with everything from buffalo chicken, Thai chicken, grandma, upside down, cheese steak and rigatoni vodka pies, to rice balls, paninis and potato croquettes.
Above all, with many years of experience and multiple successful restaurants, the Livreri brothers know that the people are the most important thing. They used to own a few places in New Jersey, but coming back home made Joe Levriri realize the biggest difference with their latest location.
“The people are different in New York,” said Joe Livreri. “New York is New York; you can’t change it no matter where you go. You could talk to one person and talk to another person and you feel like you’re at home, where you’re supposed to be.”