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 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 ratingMy first experience Atlantic Bagel Cafe was very pleasing I will recommend this place to my colleagues and Friends as... read more

    Christian M. Avatar
    Christian M.
    2/19/2019

    5 star ratingReally good food, great New York style bagels,and cream cheese, friendly service as well, definitely a place worth hitting up... read more

    Jasper S. Avatar
    Jasper S.
    10/10/2019
  • 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 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 ratingCome to La Villa if you're looking for a high quality slice made fresh daily with high quality ingredients! You... read more

    Kenny Z. Avatar
    Kenny Z.
    1/12/2020
  • 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 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 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 place is so good The tomato sauce is so good Can't stop eating this food Eggplant Parm delicious Balsamic... read more

    M. P. Avatar
    M. P.
    1/06/2020

    5 star ratingTo start.. this is one of the very few places, if not the only that uses real deal grated cheese,... read more

    Ronald B. Avatar
    Ronald B.
    4/04/2019

    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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

    5 star ratingBeen coming here for the past years.bagels and food are always fresh and workers are very polite... just the perfect... read more

    Estefany M. Avatar
    Estefany M.
    4/19/2019

    5 star ratingLa Villa is probably my favorite restaurant in my neighborhood! I used to eat from La Villa in Park Slope... read more

    Fia M. Avatar
    Fia M.
    5/05/2020
  • 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 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 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