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 ratingGreat food.. i love their fresh bagels.. and the staff is very nice.. great atmosphere, very nice place to have... read more

    Enrique S. Avatar
    Enrique S.
    2/20/2019

    5 star ratingThis is a hidden gem with an amazing grandma slice and delicious baked clams. This pizza has the one of... read more

    Cindy T. Avatar
    Cindy T.
    12/16/2019

    5 star ratingThis is the best pizza place around, I don't care what anyone else tells you! Some of the other food... read more

    Dan G. Avatar
    Dan G.
    4/23/2019
  • 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 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 ratingMust Try there wraps! They use warm pita bread. Makes a world of differences! I recommend the Caesar warp or... read more

    Peter P. Avatar
    Peter P.
    4/14/2019
  • 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 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 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 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 ratingGuys, hubby and I wanted some good Italian...therefore we decided to stay in the neighborhood and went out to try... read more

    Fabiola A. Avatar
    Fabiola A.
    3/15/2020
  • 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 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 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 ratingLa Villa and I are practically best friends. No, seriously. I grew up going to the La Villa location in... read more

    Morgan R. Avatar
    Morgan R.
    4/23/2019

    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 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 ratingA little pricey but very good. The bread basket is generous and tasty (not just sliced bread but flat onion... read more

    David F. Avatar
    David F.
    9/15/2019

    5 star ratingOne of the best pizza spots in the area! Amazing classic New York slices and a clean family-friendly environment. The... read more

    Estela S. Avatar
    Estela S.
    5/20/2019
  • 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 ratingGreat food at a reasonable price. I love the lasagna. I frequent this place with my family and we all... read more

    Dennis U. Avatar
    Dennis U.
    9/14/2019

    5 star ratingMy husband and I recently placed an order for a brunch that we were preparing for a small group of... read more

    Jane L. Avatar
    Jane L.
    11/20/2017