Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is one of the oldest and most famous pizzerias in the United States. Originally opened by Frank Pepe himself in 1925, the New Haven, Connecticut restaurant began with a family of Italian immigrants and two simple pizza recipes. It has since evolved into a successful business with several sites in Connecticut, New York, and in 2015, Boston.
The restaurant will take the place of The Fireplace in Brookline at 1634 Beacon Street. Its owner is giving up the space to focus on his expanding catering business. From now until the end of 2014, the Frank Pepe team will work to develop and submit plans for their coal-fired pizza restaurant to the town. Once they obtain approval, construction will begin in hopes of having the site open by the summer of 2015.
Most any pizza connoisseur has heard of Pepe’s, having been voted one of The 13 Most Influential Pizzas of All Time according to Time magazine. The White Clam Pie was created during the 1960s and has since been mimicked by countless other pizzerias because of its unique characteristics—a lack of red sauce and use of seafood.
All of this has not given the restaurant any misconceptions about the difficulty of having a successful restaurant in the competitive Washington Square area on the C line. Gary Bimonte, the grandson of Frank Pepe and current head of the business released a statement saying, “With so many great pizza places here, the bar has been set extremely high.” He later added in the same release statement, “We’re excited to have Bay State pizza lovers try our pizza. Can there ever be enough good pizza in the world?”
Given the large volume of young families and students in the greater Brookline area, its safe to say that the answer to that question is no. Pepe’s will bring the quality of an 85-year-old tradition to the greater Boston area by using traditional cooking methods and sticking to the basics.
The business has had the same five specialty pizzas on its menu for most of its history that have pleased customers from New Haven to New York and, soon, Boston. In bringing a slice of Wooster Street to Beacon Street, the family-run business hopes to continue its successful expansion project of sharing its world famous pie with an ever-expanding audience.