A Slice of History
Legendary Grotto Pizza turns 50 years young—and there’s no slowing down.
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Even as it turns 50, Grotto Pizza is shining stronger than it ever has. The little shop in Rehoboth Beach grew to become synonymous with pizza in the First State, and it continues to be the most recognizable and best-selling chain of pizzerias in Delaware.
“That’s our lifeblood,” says Dominick Pulieri, who opened the first Grotto in Rehoboth in 1960 with his brother-in-law Joe Paglianite and sister Mary Jean. “We sell a lot of pizza.”
Grotto’s unique pies, with their swirled blend of Wisconsin cheeses and California sauces, have impacted plenty of Delawareans. “The culture of the company has always been about the people,” Pulieri says—like the generations of kids who’ve paid their way through college by making or serving Grotto pies, the $24,000 the company donated to Haitian earthquake relief efforts, even the first Grotto Pizza built inside the gates at Dover Air Force Base. And still Grotto continues to grow and expand. (Look for Grotto in Milford and the Grotto panini soon.)
Fifty years in the restaurant business is an impressive milestone, no matter how you slice it. “It’s hard for me to connect with how long 50 years really is,” Pulieri says. “Fifty years of success and growth—that and a great team of supporters. And for that I do feel proud.” —Matt Amis
Page 2: Turning 21 | Chelsea Tavern trades on its prestigious address–and does it well.