Updated 8:25 p.m.
It took a year and a half to do it, but as of next week, Angelo’s Pizzeria will finally be up and running again.
The shop is opening in the former Sarcone’s Deli storefront in the Italian Market, which proprietor Danny DiGiampietro — a South Philly native who married into the Sarcone family — has transformed into a little slice of pizza heaven.
When news broke in August 2017 that DiGiampietro was opening a Philadelphia outpost of his hit sandwich and pie shop, people were seriously pumped.
In its five years on Haddon Avenue in Haddonfield, N.J., Angelo’s had gained a cult following, and Philly folks were excited about not having to cross the river for the garlicky squares of grandma pie, sacks of flavor-loaded hoagies and weekend assortments of fresh-baked bagels. A few months later, the original location was forced to shut down due to flooding, and fans were left completely without their fix. Not anymore.
Official target launch for the new edition of Angelo’s at 758 S. 9th St., just down the block from 100-year-old Sarcone’s Bakery, is Tuesday, Jan. 22.
If things go well, doors might even soft-open before then as DiGiampietro tests out his equipment.
“We can do 48 pizzas at once!” he proclaimed Saturday, showing off the massive, five-deck oven that looms behind the counter. “But it’s not about quantity. We can do everything in here.”
The oven, made in Italy by Polin, was the direct cause of several delays — a whole new gas line had to be installed, among other issues — but DiGiampietro considers it worth every overrun. The flexibility it gives him, he said, means he’ll be able to do bake delicate pastries or roast his own pork and beef overnight. He’ll also be able to offer “every kind of pie.”
Like what? A few styles he rattled off include:
- Tomato pie
And of course, “regular American pizza,” which will also be sold by the slice for walk-in customers. In general, the menu will start out similar to what was offered in Haddonfield — hand-thrown pizza, specialty hoagies, pasta platters, salads, cheesesteaks, bagels on the weekends — and then will be tweaked or expanded.
At start, delivery might not be available at all, DiGiampietro said, stating his preference for face-to-face interaction, and he’s on the fence about whether to even install a phone.
“I have this knack for remembering what people like,” DiGiampietro boasted. “Someone comes in and asks for their cheesesteak onions extra well done? Next time you come in, when I see your face, I’ll remember that. When we added delivery, we lost that vibe. Delivery orders turn it into a factory.”
There’s also the sentimental value of in-person visits. DiGiampietro — who named the pizza business after his first-born son — has fond memories of going out for food with his own father.
“He’d take me to John’s Roast Pork and say ‘Get ready for the best roast pork, Danny!” recalled DiGiampietro, now 46, adding that he began to see some parents doing that at his first location and wants the tradition to continue. “I hope in 30 years there are kids who have memories of Angelo’s.”
Because the footprint of his new shop is small (just 700 square feet), there won’t be much seating: one table at front and a counter along the front window for devouring quick slices.
However, once he’s up and running, there’s the possibility of adding a whole dining room, an idea that brings even more of a glint to DiGiampietro’s ever-twinkling eyes. It would go in the back, in the rowhome building’s garage, which opens onto an alley called Percy Street.
“One of those rollup glass doors, 30 tables, lights along the ceiling,” DiGiampietro said. “It’ll be great.”