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 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 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 ratingNice variety of bagels. Fast service. Bagel with lox spread has good size pieces of real lox (thick layer of... read more

    Leela M. Avatar
    Leela M.
    9/29/2019
  • 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 ratingTried this new location last night. It did not disappoint . Great food and great service. Def going back to... read more

    Nella B. Avatar
    Nella B.
    3/16/2019

    5 star ratingAwesome pizza spot in park slope! I got the grandma slice and zucchini slice, both delicious. The ingredients taste really fresh!

    Kevin G. Avatar
    Kevin G.
    4/04/2019
  • 5 star ratingI'm pretty sure I've reviewed this restaurant before, but I'll say it again.. it's so not just a "pizzeria "..... read more

    susan s. Avatar
    susan s.
    7/29/2019

    5 star ratingIts gratuitous baked onion strips are delicious and addictive. We particularly like its Focaccia Della Nonna (Grandma pizza)---the wood fired... read more

    Ed H. Avatar
    Ed H.
    6/20/2019

    5 star ratingBest pizza place in the area. I order here all the time. I always get the bufala margherita and it... read more

    Sunny L. Avatar
    Sunny L.
    10/23/2019
  • 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 ratingAlways something tasty to order from their menu bagels modified to your specifications. You get good amount of enjoyable food... read more

    Ted T. Avatar
    Ted T.
    10/04/2019

    5 star ratingI love this place, I always like a plain chicken cutlet and this place understand what I wanted out of... read more

    Chris K. Avatar
    Chris K.
    5/26/2019
  • 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 ratingI've tried 6+ pizza places in Park Slope, and La Villa is hands down the best. The delivery is always... read more

    Cait E. Avatar
    Cait E.
    10/17/2019

    5 star ratingAbsolutely my favorite restaurant of all time. Can't fail with anything you order. Calzones and any pasta dish are the... read more

    Alexandra B. Avatar
    Alexandra B.
    7/19/2019
  • 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 ratingA no frills nice Italian restaurant serving tasty dishes and wood fire pizzas. It is a worthwhile trip to visit... read more

    Aj P. Avatar
    Aj P.
    12/28/2018

    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 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 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 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
  • 5 star ratingGreat food! Never disappointed. Every choice is a good one. Thanks La Villa!

    Kanada R. Avatar
    Kanada R.
    6/16/2019

    5 star ratingThis place deserves a 5 Star! Service was amazing, food is all homemade and delicious. I've visited this place more... read more

    Mickey M. Avatar
    Mickey M.
    6/15/2019

    5 star ratingThe staff is competent and friendly and warm; the food is excellent and the environment is modern and nice.This is... read more

    Sharon P. Avatar
    Sharon P.
    10/15/2019