The VIP Lounge is a weekly Boston Globe interview of a usually D-list celebrity with some passing connection to Boston. The same eight travel-themed questions are asked of each interviewee — Aisle or window? Guilty pleasure when traveling? This week the VIP is Gary Bimonte, one of seven grandchildren of Frank Pepe, founder of the greatest pizzeria in the country, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, CT. There are now eight Pepe’s pizzeria’s in the northeast, the most recent of which opened, very successfully, in Chestnut Hill mall in Boston. Mr. Bimonte is manager of quality control, popping around to the eight restaurants to ensure the pies are up to New Haven standards. Check out his VIP Lounge interview here.
It sometimes seemed like it would never really happen, but all doubts have been erased: Pepe’s will be bringing their incomparable New Haven pizza to Boston in two weeks. The Mall at Chestnut Hill opening is scheduled for December 16th. The oven will be identical to the New Haven original but word is there will be new toppings and salads. The char will remain. If it’s a success, there could be further Pepe’s openings in the Boston area. For you first-time Boston visitors, here’s some advice: no matter what else you get, order a white clam pie!
In the on-again, off-again saga of Pepe’s Pizzeria‘s entry into the Boston market, the latest news is that Pepe’s (of New Haven, Connecticut, and America’s greatest pizzeria) really has found a home and really is coming. Last year, they had intended to set up shop in Brookline, until the occupant of the space they were moving into decided not to vacate. The location they found to replace it is in Chestnut Hill, in the mall, in the space formerly occupied by Papa Razzi. We relayed the news here last month but it sounded very tentative at the time. This news sounds more certain. Opening date is sometime this fall.