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Renovations point to Vincent's Pizza Park reopening in North Braddock

| Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, 12:10 a.m.
Work is under way at the former Vincent's Pizza park along Ardmore Boulevard on Thursday, December 13, 2012. Heidi Murrin | Tribune-Review

Something's cooking at Vincent's Pizza Park along Ardmore Boulevard in North Braddock.

The iconic parlor famous for its cheesy Vinnie Pie is undergoing renovations, but borough officials said it is unclear exactly when the ovens might fire up again.

“Yeah, they're opening,” said North Braddock manager Douglas Marguriet.

Vincent's Pizza fanatics have been salivating for the shop to reopen since May, when the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas ordered the restaurant shuttered at the request of owner Toni Zollner of Glendale, Calif.

Court records show John Belissimo Jr. and Joseph Cava broke their agreement with Zollner, the daughter of the original owner, Vincent Chianese, who started the business in 1950 and died in 2010, by failing to remit royalty payments and back rent totaling more than $42,000.

Attorney Robert Garber, who represents Belissimo and Cava, said his clients will not be involved in the new venture.

Neither Zollner nor her lawyer, Frank Rapp, returned calls.

The equipment and furnishings inside the restaurant had been slated to be auctioned off at sheriff's sale in June, but Zollner canceled the sale.

Paul Patterson, service director at Day West Liberty Subaru in Brookline, said he's been watching the renovations with anticipation.

“I've been eating Vincent's pizza since junior high. Vinnie would make dough balls and throw them over the glass to us while we waited for our pizza. You have no idea how sad I was (when it closed),” Patterson said.

Patterson said the pizza isn't the prettiest, but it's the tastiest.

“I like heavy, kind of greasy, sloppy pizza. It's not the type of cookie cutter pizza you get at Domino's or Pizza Hut. It's hands-down the best pizza in the world,” he said.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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