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 place is so delicious! The pizza is amazing with its fresh, authentic ingredients! It's PERFECT!! Also, the bread they... read more

    Sanni S. Avatar
    Sanni S.
    11/12/2019

    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 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 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 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 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 ratingGreat bagels, good price ,my Sunday morning go toI love bagels and themuffins are delicious There's a nice seating area... read more

    Sezen G. Avatar
    Sezen G.
    10/13/2019

    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

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

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

    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 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 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 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 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 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 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