Gennaro's moving to East Passyunk
Owner Mike Giammarino says he is in the process of buying a building at 1533 S. 11th St. that was occupied previously by Da Vinci's restaurant, which closed Sunday.
"We're topping out," he said, unaware of the pizza pun. "We're not big enough to take reservations and too small for larger parties."
Rather than go upstairs at 1429 Jackson St. and take over an apartment, Giammarino says he is in the process of buying the building at 1533 S. 11th St. that was occupied previously by Da Vinci's restaurant, which closed Sunday.
Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire.
Gennaro's new location - to open "mid-2015" - is across from the Singing Fountain and smack in the middle of the white-hot East Passyunk Avenue strip. Fond is two doors away; a rumored restaurant is next door; Noord, Izumi and Chiarella's are across the way on Tasker Street; Stateside is across Passyunk, and the brand-new Brigantessa is around the corner.
Giammarino said he was not sure what would happen to Gennaro's current location, but he said he would entertain ideas - perhaps bringing in a restaurateur to operate it as something else. He expects to settle on the building by the end of the year.
Gennaro's will remain open at 1429 Jackson until the new location opens, Giammarino said. (See Craig LaBan's two-bell review here.)
The new location will be BYOB to start and will take advantage of a courtyard and second floor.
Gennaro's roots can be traced to Lombardi's at Spring and Mott Streets in New York City, reputed to be the oldest pizzeria in the United States.
Giammarino operated a branch of Gennaro's when it was on 18th Street in Rittenhouse Square, which was closed to make way for 10 Rittenhouse.
Sonny DeCarlo said he was selling Da Vinci's because "I'm getting old. I'm 85."
Passyunk Post reported much of the story this morning, quoting anonymous neighbors and Da Vinci's answering machine.