March 28 2018

Award Winning Frank Pepe Pizzeria Looking to Open in Burlington Mall

By: Rich Hosford

A well-known and award winning pizzeria is looking to open up in Burlington.


Papers filed with the Burlington Planning Department state that Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana has filed an application to open in the former Uno’s location in the Burlington Mall.


“The Applicant and its operations are a well-established and recognized pizzeria restaurant originating in Connecticut with its first Massachusetts location recently opening in Chestnut Hill,” the cover letter of the application states.


The application is for a full service restaurant with 98 seats in a 3,962 square-foot location. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner.


Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is one of the country’s oldest pizzerias. It was founded in 1925 by Frank Pepe who was born in the town of Maiori, on the Amalfi, Naples, Frank Pepe.


“Poor and illiterate, he immigrated to the United States in 1909 at age 16 with little more than his health and a strong work ethic,” the restaurants website states. “His first job was at a New Haven, CT factory until he returned to fight for his native Italy in World War 1 a few years later.


After the war Frank married Filomena Volpi, also from Maiori, in 1919. As newly-weds they returned to New Haven in 1920 to begin building their new lives together.


“Frank & Filomena, who was a pivotal influence on his success (she was literate and learned to speak and write English), started making a simple and humble product from their homeland, pizza — or as they would say in their Neapolitan dialect, “apizza”,” the website says. “They started off baking two types of pizza, one with tomatoes with grated cheese, garlic, oregano and olive oil and the other with anchovy. The Original Tomato Pie is still offered today and anchovy is still available as a topping. Mozzarella and additional ingredients were to follow.”


As the business grew it earned a loyal following and quite a few awards. It was named to the James Beard Foundation’s list of “America’s Classics” in 1999 and was called the “Best Pizza on Earth” by The Guardian in 2009. The Daily Meal named Pepe’s white clam pizza the “best pizza in the country” two years in a row in 2013 and 2014, among other accolades from other publications.


Finally, the restaurant has been visited by some big names, including Robert De Niro, Henry Winkler, Kelly Clarkson, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and former President Bill Clinton among others.


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