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 Restaurant! Me and my family LOVE their bread! Also their pizza and grilled chicken are also very good! I... read more

    Dylan F. Avatar
    Dylan F.
    8/05/2019

    5 star ratingI've been ordering from La Villa for over 9 years. The food is always excellent. There is another... read more

    T G. Avatar
    T G.
    3/09/2019

    5 star ratingI have been meaning to try this place for awhile so tonight I went and sat at the bar for... read more

    Rick R. Avatar
    Rick R.
    7/18/2019
  • 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 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 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 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 ratingMy favorite Italian restaurant in parkslope because delicious pasta and pizza. My favorite meal is spaghetti garlic and oil.... read more

    Mike B. Avatar
    Mike B.
    2/06/2020

    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 ratingI have been eating at this restaurant for at least 13 years that I can recall. I have moved all... read more

    Lara N. Avatar
    Lara N.
    10/14/2019

    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 ratingGreat Italian food. The love is clean. The staff is nice. Please see the video for food.

    michelle l. Avatar
    michelle l.
    12/08/2019
  • 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 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 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 ratingBest restaurant & staff! Every dish I tried doesn't disappoint me. The waiters and everyone are super friendly. Definitely best... read more

    Sol C. Avatar
    Sol C.
    10/11/2019

    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 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 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 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 ratingLa Villa never disappoints! The Roman pie and the Caprese pizza is my all time favorite. The Roman pie has... read more

    D. S. Avatar
    D. S.
    5/24/2019
  • 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 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 ratingThey have the best Mac and cheese! It's probably the best I ever ate actually. It's just that good, it's... read more

    Rosalia X. Avatar
    Rosalia X.
    2/24/2020