Beloved Staten Island pizzeria serves final slice after 80 years

The owner of Nunzio's says COVID ruined his business

Kemberly Richardson Image
Thursday, August 11, 2022
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The final slices of a beloved pizzeria on Staten Island were sold on Wednesday. Kemberly Richardson has the story.

MIDLAND BEACH, Staten Island (WABC) -- The final slices of a beloved pizzeria on Staten Island were sold on Wednesday.

After 80 years and countless pies, Nunzio's sold its final pizza.

"I love coming here, every day is a good day," owner Bob Whiteaker said. "I'm going to be 65 might as well call it a wrap."

Since the 1960s, the family run pizzeria has been at Hylan and Midland.

Whiteaker's grandfather and uncles handed him the reigns in the early '80s. He remembers first stepping into the kitchen when he was just 9 years old.

"Back in the day we used to make the dough by hand -- 100 pounds in 4 minutes," he said

The area around the business is notorious for flooding, but it still drew people together.

But like many other small business, Whiteaker recently had to take a hard look at his and make a tough choice.

"After COVID it was never the same, COVID ruined this business and for 2 1/2 years it's been nothing but a struggle, no help," he said.

Before it was a pizzeria, the space was actually a flower and fruit strand.

Whiteaker says the new owner plans to open a showroom for cabinets in the next chapter.

Whitaker officially closed Wednesday. Now it's his time for his slice of the pie -- take it easy, maybe move to South Carolina and leave with one final message:

"I just want to thank all our customers out there, all the nice people who came here and thank all my workers," he said.

Whiteaker said it was a great run.

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