Sunday, Aug. 22 is expected to be the finale of the landmark Joseph’s Pizza, which baked its first pie in 1966 in Rockledge and moved a year later to nearby Oxford Avenue in the city’s Fox Chase neighborhood.
Claire DiLullo Schiavone — widow of founder Joe DiLullo and the co-owner of the eatery with her husband, Toto Schiavone — said they were closing in advance of its sale because of a staffing shortage. “We just don’t have the staff to do it right,” she said.
The Schiavones are selling Joseph’s and its swank restaurant next door, Moonstruck, to Joseph Forkin, Jimmy Lyons, and Matthew Yeck, who own Gaul & Co. Malt House, which has locations in Port Richmond and Rockledge.
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Claire Schiavone said the last night of service at Moonstruck, which opened as Ristorante DiLullo in 1979, would be Aug. 29. She said the reservation books have been full since word of the impending sale began spreading.
The restaurants’ sale date, including the transfer of the liquor license, has not been set, but is expected to be in mid-September.
In an Instagram post announcing their impending purchase on Aug. 19, the Gaul partners paid tribute to the Schiavones, thanking them for “all of their unbelievable years of service that made both restaurants so iconic.” Yeck told The Inquirer that he and his partners would remodel and reopen the pizzeria, possibly under the Joseph’s name, and would reopen the full-service restaurant under a new name but with a similar white-tablecloth, fine-dining style.
A timetable was not announced.
The Schiavones are decamping to their other restaurant, Radice, in Blue Bell.