pizzeria in Irondequoit last Friday.
The event revives a family tradition started by Tony's grandparents, who owned the long-gone Ozzie's pizzeria on Goodman Street. Every year on Christmas Eve, they'd put out a free lunch as a thank-you to their customers.
This year Tony decided to do the same, the only change being the expanded size and variety of the buffet. When I stopped by at around 1:30, the booths at Tony's were filled with a mix of patrons, friends and family, who occasionally lined up at the buffet table as new trays were brought out, laden with several varieties of pizza, wings, meatballs, Italian sausage, rigatoni, salad, antipasti and more.
As Tony was busy overseeing it all and visiting with guests, he paused long enough for a photo, together with his daughter and his grandson, who sometime in the near future was going to have himself a sibling.
I chatted with Tony for just a few minutes, and as he casually mentioned some of the local pizzeria owners with whom he talks on a regular basis, I realized that there's a genuine community of local, independent pizza purveyors out there, probably as in any business, but it's nice to know nonetheless. Their very sense of neighborhood is what makes the independents less competitors than colleagues. And it's events like this that will help them survive, and thrive, in the face of economic challenges and competition from the big guys.
That community spirit exists not only among the owners themselves, but extends to their clientele too. As customers, we can help keep it alive by supporting our local pizzerias, so keep that in mind next time you're ordering. Buon appetito and Happy Holidays.
2 Ton Tony’s, 545 Titus Ave. 266-TONY (8669)
Mon. - Thu. 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Sun. noon - 9 p.m.