First Posted: 6/5/2013
After being ravaged by both fire and flood, Antonio’s Pizza is back.
The West Pittston eatery on Wyoming Avenue was destroyed on Sept. 8, 2011, when, in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, the Susquehanna River crested at 44.6 feet and a third of the town was underwater. Antonio’s Pizza took in seven feet of floodwater.
Their satellite pizzeria, just under three miles away on Wyoming Avenue in Wyoming, was destroyed by a fire seven months later.
Francesca Carannante said her family wasn’t going to give up. “We still wanted to stay in West Pittston and this is a busy area.”
The family opened a new location in the Insalaco Shopping Plaza in April. The place was remodeled and their customers have been flocking back.
“It’s great to get so much support from the community,” Carannante said.
Carannante said the menu was kept and expanded. Pizza, hoagies, salads, burgers, sandwiches, wings and wraps are all on the menu.
She said her and her family – her father, Orlando, her mother, Adriana, and her brother, John – operated the pizzeria in West Pittston since 1974.
West Pittston Mayor Tony Denisco has said he is expecting development activity at Antonio’s former location soon. Wyoming Avenue LLC, a Florida-based entity managed by John and Jean Mulhall, recently sold the building to borough resident Judith Barone for $160,000.
Barone could not be reached for comment on her plans for the site, but Denisco said he recently spoke to Barone’s son, Charles, who indicated the family was exploring several ideas for the 0.34-acre parcel.
The site is of particular interest because it’s at a busy intersection. “It’s right in the heart of town,” Denisco said.
The Wyoming location, owned by the neighboring UFCW Credit Union, was rebuilt and Chief Executive Officer John Hayduk said the organization hasn’t yet decided what will go in the building.
Customers seemed happy Antonio’s reopened.
Tony Salus of Corning, N.Y., who was working on a West Pittston construction site on Wednesday, stopped in to the new Antonio’s for lunch. He said he has local relatives and remembers visiting Antonio’s in their former location.
“The food is great,” he said. “It’s just like a remember it. I’m glad they’re back in business. That flood hit everyone so hard.”