From the moment he could walk, Johnnie De Luca was running up and down the aisles of his grandfathers’ pizzeria in Lower Manhattan, keeping the local patrons entertained with his sideshow antics. From his ultimate-spaghetti-eating contests and attempting to make the world’s largest meatball to tossing pizza dough blindfolded, Johnnie never failed to amuse. Eventually Johnnie’s grandfather realized that all his grandsons’ untapped energy would make him the perfect delivery boy, or at the very least it would get Johnnie’s little, meatball-stealing hands out of the kitchen. Much to his grandfather’s delight, biking around the city gave Johnnie a newfound freedom and cemented him as a favorite among the pizzeria’s customers. The customers quickly became Johnnie’s encyclopedia and link to his heritage. They were ever so happy to share stories of the old country and nurture his pizza-tossing abilities.
As Johnnie grew-up, he harnessed his entrepreneurial spirit and set his sights on owning his own pizzeria. So with the idea and the recipe cards in tow, Johnnie traveled across the country to Los Angeles to bring his original pizza to California. In 1984, Johnnie’s dream became reality when his small neighborhood pizzeria opened up in Los Angeles. Johnnie’s restaurant began to establish a name for itself amongst the city’s pizza lovers. As word began to spread about the little restaurant, Johnnie’s moved to a bigger location and expanded its menu to accommodate its expanding fan base. Now 26 years later, Johnnie’s still offers a wide array of pizzas and other authentic Italian dishes from pasta primavera and homemade lasagna, to calzones and chicken parmesan, ensuring the de Luca family tradition is carried on.
Now…Johnnie de Luca may not actually exist but if he had we’d imagine his life would’ve unfolded as such…don’t you?