Totonno’s: Closing rumors a no-no

April 13, 2021 Jaime DeJesus
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A beloved Coney Island pizzeria is staying put, despite rumors of its demise.

The owners of Totonno’s Pizzeria Napolitana, 1524 Neptune Ave., told their loyal customers that although they’re closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they haven’t shut down for good.

“In an effort to protect our family members, staff and customers in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we have temporarily closed our Coney Island restaurant,” the owners said on social media. “Although we will continue to be temporarily closed at our physical location, we are exploring other options during this time to share our world-renowned pizza with our extended community. We remain committed to our customers and the Coney Island community and look forward to seeing you all soon.”

Google lists the establishment as permanently closed.

Alexandra Silversmith, executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island, said Totonno’s is important to the neighborhood. 

“We are happy to hear they are finding a way to stay safe and hope to see them operating sometime soon,” Silversmith told this paper. “In the meantime, we are happy to support them and all our other businesses with assistance during these challenging times.”

The pizzeria was founded in 1924 by Anthony (Totonno) Pero, who immigrated from Naples in 1903 and started making pizzas for Lombardi’s grocery store on Spring Street in Manhattan.  

“Because of Totonno’s work, Lombardi’s became the first licensed pizzeria in America and Totonno’s became the first pizzaiolo,” says the eatery’s website. “Eighty-nine years later, the grandchildren continue to operate the restaurant, making Totonno’s of Coney Island the oldest continually run, family-owned pizzeria in America, and possibly the world.”

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