We have a section of our site is called “Origins Of Top Businesses.”
It features interesting facts about the early years of well-known businesses.
We also have a small variation to that section. It’s called “Origins Of Popular Products.”
Today I want to let you in on the origin of both an early business and product. What do I mean? I want to tell you about the first pizza place in the United States…
It was 1887 and Gennaro Lombardi opened a grocery sore at 53 1/2 Spring Street.
After being in business for awhile, he began selling “tomato pies” (a type of pizza created in the late 19th century by Italian-American populations) that were wrapped in paper at lunchtime for the workers the nearby factories.
In 1905, Gennaro got a business license to operate a pizzeria restaurant and quickly attracted a huge following. Gennaro later passed his business on to his son George.
In 1984, this original restaurant closed, but in 1994 it was reopened a block away at 32 Spring Street. The cool thing is that it was reopened by Gennaro’s grandson, Gennaro Lombardi III, and by his childhood friend John Brescio.
Because of the 10-year closure, it’s no longer considered to be America’s oldest continuously operating pizzeria, but it is still considered the first pizza restaurant in the U.S.