But then his customers squawked, and he got to thinking: Why fix what ain't broke?
Gennaro's and its thin-crust pies will stay put.
In mid-April, Giammarino will open a ristorante, Grace & Pat's, in the new building, the former Da Vinci at 1533 S. 11th St. It's two doors from Fond.
(Giammarino shuttles between Philly and Manhattan as he also owns iconic Lombardi's, in Little Italy; backgrounder is here.)
Grace & Pat's specialty will be what we now know as "grandma-style" pizza. That is, says Giammarino, it's the rectangular pizza - thicker than Neapolitan, not as thick as Sicilian - that his Brooklyn-born grandmother (Grace) made.
The rest of the menu, inspired by the pastas that his grandfather (Pat) made, will be simple: appetizers, pastas, and desserts at family friendly prices. Giammarino intends to offers fixed-price, family style meals, as well.
Giammarino is well aware of the other Italian options on the Avenue, from more upmarket spots such as Palladino's, Le Virtu, Paradiso, Mamma Maria's and Brigantessa to kinder-to-the-wallet offerings such as Marra's and, right across the street, Chiarella's.
He won't go for a liquor license at first, and he's sticking initially to his 50 seats on the first floor and 40-seat outdoor garden; the second floor could be a bar or it could be banquet space.