Our Story

In order to tell the story of how La Villa came to be in 1982 properly, we must go back three decades before. In 1955 my Uncle, Gino Branchinelli opened the family's first Pizzeria on 5th avenue and Bay ridge. He along with my Other Uncle, Antonio opened more locations around Brooklyn and in 1960 opened Gino's Italian Ices on 39th street as well.  In the late 60's My Father Benito joined my uncle at his current location in Long Beach, Long Island which opened in 1962.  After 14 years there, my Father decided to leave Long Beach. In the spring of 1982, along with other family members, he opened the La Villa Located in the Lindenwood section of Howard Beach.  The Pizzeria was small with seating for only about 25-30 people, but it was always standing room only!   The Italian ice Factory and my cousin Emilio and Uncle Mario’s pizzeria in Long Island, was where I spent my summers and weekends. Soon Pizza became my only interest!  Every day with their teachings and tough love, their passions began to pass on to me!   In 1986 I decided to leave NYU business school during my senior year to take La Villa over from my father with the help of my sister Irene and mom, Maurina. With long hours and hard work from my family and dedicated workers, the little 35 seat pizzeria in Howard Beach became very popular. Recent renovations have now expanded to seat over 100 with outdoor garden seating and the addition of two large Wood fired Pizza ovens.

 

About 1990 knowing that we were well established we thought it was a good time to seek out an additional location.  With the help and partnership of a super energetic 19 year old Howard Beach kid, Louis Colello, our second location opened in 1992 on Avenue U in Mill Basin, Brooklyn.  There as well we quickly grew out of our 35 seat location and in only a couple of years later expanded the store by moving over to the then retired Mr. Minetti’s hardware store.  Not long after that did another young Italian kid from Brooklyn named Frankie, join our staff and later became manager and eventually current partner at the Mill Basin store!

 

In early 2000, with two locations and a handful of dedicated mangers, we again began scout for an additional location.  Once again we set our sights on Brooklyn and began to decide on various locations.  It was no coincidence then when we discovered the current location I felt strangely comfortable.  At the time I had no idea that this was the exact area my family shopped and frequented when we lived in Sunset Park back in the 60’s and early 70’s.  My mother would visit Vinny the Butcher (who by the way was a paesano from Salerno!) at least a few times a week, and was located on 5th  avenue.  Not to mention that Mr. Scicchitano’s original A&S pork store founded in 1947 was also on 5th!   We news got out in the family that we were opening again in Brooklyn  we received the greatest blessing from my Uncle Gino who started up on 5th avenue in 1955!  On Memorial Day 2003 we opened Park Slope with my Sister Irene, my manager of Howard Beach, Billy and my longtime friend and manger of Mill Basin, Lenny!  And To this day my mother Maurina can still be found in the early morning prep making sure the pomodoro sauce has the right amount of olive oil or in the evening jumping behind the busy line to sauté!

 

Testimonials

  • 5 star ratingI am beyond impressed with La Villa's pizza and the house salad I had yesterday. I know, a house salad... read more

    Lesley O. Avatar
    Lesley O.
    1/23/2020

    5 star ratingFood here is amazing. The grilled chicken wraps (check out their Caesar dressing on any of em') and grandma slices... read more

    Nick D. Avatar
    Nick D.
    4/27/2019

    5 star ratingNot Your typical Pizza Joint! Don't come here if you eat $1 pizza! Try the variety of Sicilian pizzas they... read more

    Andrew B. Avatar
    Andrew B.
    10/13/2019
  • 5 star ratingWhile visiting family in Brooklyn, my family and I couldn't pass up a slice of world famous Brooklyn pizza. ... read more

    Kevin G. Avatar
    Kevin G.
    1/04/2020

    5 star ratingBeing from Long Island, I have high standards for bagels. Standards met here! Classic tougher outside texture, soft fluffy... read more

    Alexandra S. Avatar
    Alexandra S.
    10/12/2017

    5 star ratingThis place is beautifully, clean and modern. I love the how it's laid out and still reminds me of Italy.... read more

    Jon O. Avatar
    Jon O.
    2/22/2020
  • 5 star ratingEverytime i come here I feel the family love and I taste it in the food. Best NY Italian pizza... read more

    Marie G. Avatar
    Marie G.
    6/05/2019

    5 star ratingBest place in the neighborhood, best pizza in Brooklyn!!! We're absolutely in love with this place. So clean and great... read more

    Julia B. Avatar
    Julia B.
    6/30/2019

    5 star ratingAmazing and always good as usual. Staff, food, and service are A1. It's very family like and home feel

    Manhal I. Avatar
    Manhal I.
    8/04/2019
  • 5 star ratingAs soon as you walk in the aroma is amazing. This was one of the freshest bagels I've ever tasted.... read more

    Jeff F. Avatar
    Jeff F.
    10/12/2017

    5 star ratingAlways delicious, the staff are always nice, helpful and professional and delivery is on point in a timely fashion. The... read more

    Hotlikewasabi H. Avatar
    Hotlikewasabi H.
    10/13/2018

    5 star ratingLove this place! I've only been to the Mill Basin location but the food is amazing. I would recommend the... read more

    Korinne K. Avatar
    Korinne K.
    9/20/2019
  • 5 star ratingDelicious pizza, well prepared and good sized portions. Price well 20.40 a pie . Brick oven pizza taste . Much... read more

    Jose V. Avatar
    Jose V.
    6/02/2019

    5 star ratingAmazing service! Pizza out of this world and the rice balls wow! Everything on the menu is amazing you can't... read more

    Sabir M. Avatar
    Sabir M.
    6/30/2019

    5 star ratingThe best! I love them. I just ordered tonight, got a buffalo mozzarella pie. It was so good. Get from... read more

    Blee T. Avatar
    Blee T.
    11/02/2019
  • 5 star ratingi come here every time for my birthday and they always serve with full quality. all of their food tastes... read more

    Aria L. Avatar
    Aria L.
    10/27/2019

    5 star ratingSo good. Even bigger portions than the Howard Beach location. Same great flavors. Love all the La Villa locations. Service... read more

    Estela S. Avatar
    Estela S.
    12/21/2019

    5 star ratingWe are a group of UPS drivers and we come here for lunch. The food is really good but I... read more

    Luke F. Avatar
    Luke F.
    11/20/2018
  • 5 star ratingI love Altantic Bagels Cafe! I go there every morning to get a bagel and a coffee to start my... read more

    Polina G. Avatar
    Polina G.
    8/22/2019

    5 star ratingWhat a nice surprise! This place is tucked away in a mini strip of stores. The ambiance is amazing. The... read more

    Doris M. Avatar
    Doris M.
    12/22/2019

    5 star ratingMy family and I love this restaurant. But tonight we were very sad,I went onto the website like I have... read more

    Denise B. Avatar
    Denise B.
    8/22/2019
  • 5 star ratingAmazing customer service. My order was slightly messed up and they replaced it free of charge. Have been going here... read more

    Isabelle S. Avatar
    Isabelle S.
    12/07/2018

    5 star ratingFive stars for always taking in our complicated, sometimes four-kinds-of-coffee-four-different-ways orders. Ive watched this staff handle crowds of people to... read more

    Morgan F. Avatar
    Morgan F.
    7/28/2019

    5 star ratingFood was amazing. Everything from salad to pasta to desert. No complaints at all. Only negative is the service was... read more

    Igor V. Avatar
    Igor V.
    11/02/2019