Long Branch, NJ (PRWEB) August 22, 2013
An Italian favorite makes a comeback opening its doors in a not so familiar location. John Piancone Sr. first had the idea of opening an Italian Specialty Store and Bakery in 1955 in Bradley Beach, New Jersey. His vision expanded nearly 40 years later when his son Rick Piancone opened a family restaurant with his wife called La Nonna Piancone’s Café on the same block adjacent to his father’s store. Dedicating so much of his time to the café, Rick decided to sell the business in 2006 and took some time off to travel. In November 2009, Rick returned to the industry launching Johnny Piancone’s in Long Branch, New Jersey, named after his father who passed away. Currently in its fourth year of business, Johnny Piancone’s continues to satisfy customers, serving great Italian food and keeping the family name alive. Owner Rick Piancone explains his journey:
Bielat Santore & Company (BSC): Is everything you make here homemade?
Rick Piancone: Yes. Cooking is all done in-house. I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America where I met one of our head chefs, Sal who has been with us since the deli in Bradley Beach. Our other head chef, Jose has also been with us since the deli. As customers walk in, they can see our chefs making fresh antipasto and mozzarella in the kitchen. All deserts are made in-house too.
BSC: Did you get an inspiration for your recipes while traveling?
Rick Piancone: Going to Italy and seeing all of the little mom and pop shops and manufacturers made me realize that we take a lot of food that we have for granted. It gave me a lot of appreciation for it.
BSC: What is a signature dish that you serve?
Rick Piancone: The “No-Name Salad” is a big one. It has grilled chicken, mozzarella, roasted red pepper, grilled vegetables, mushrooms, artichoke and mixed greens tossed in a balsamic gorgonzola dressing. Also the “Chicken La Nonna” is very popular, egg battered chicken breast topped with fresh mozzarella, basil and prosciutto, sautéed in a lemon white wine butter.
BSC: Does Johnny Piancone’s resemble your previous restaurant, La Nonna Piancone’s Café in Bradley Beach?
Rick Piancone: We kept the same menu. Prices are the only thing that has changed. The bartenders have been getting more creative with the alcoholic beverages. We want our customers to enjoy a fun atmosphere with fine food at reasonable prices.
BSC: What does La Nonna mean?
Rick Piancone: It’s Italian for “Grandmother.”
BSC: Do you have any special promotions?
Rick Piancone: We are open 7 days a week. Monday through Saturday is all-day Happy Hour from 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm and Sundays from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Our Early Bird Dinner is every night from 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm offering a four course meal. We also have an upstairs banquet room that holds up to 80 guests. We book for all kinds of occasions such as baptisms, communions, birthday parties, and repasts.
BSC: What makes you different from other Italian restaurants in the area?
Rick Piancone: We are not your typical chicken parmesan restaurant. We see the trends of the business changing and we try to keep up with the trends. We still love the business and have a passion for it. I go to Manhattan a lot and see what other restaurants are doing and I try to bring some of what I see there to Johnny Piancone’s.
BSC: What type of advertising are you doing?
Rick Piancone: Social media is really helpful. Yelp is great because it lets us know how we are doing and if we get a bad review it lets us know what we need to fix. The advertising campaign “Stronger than the Storm” has boosted our business too since Hurricane Sandy.
BSC: Who do you consider your biggest competition in the area?
Rick Piancone: Pier Village. I have to compete with all of the places there. We can’t compete with the ocean view but we can compete with their prices.
Johnny Piancone’s is located at 591 Broadway in Long Branch, New Jersey. Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner: Monday through Thursday from 2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Friday & Saturday from 11:30 am – 11:00 pm, and Sunday from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of their private banquet room equipped with flat screen televisions and a full-service bar.
About Bielat Santore & Company
Bielat Santore & Company is an established commercial real estate firm. The company’s expertise lies chiefly within the restaurant and hospitality industry, specializing in the sale of restaurants and other food and beverage real estate businesses. Since 1978, the principals of Bielat Santore & Company, Barry Bielat and Richard Santore, have sold more restaurants and similar type properties in New Jersey than any other real estate company. Furthermore, the firm has secured in excess of $500,000,000 in financing to facilitate these transactions. Visit the company’s website, http://www.123bsc.com for the latest in new listings, property searches, available land, market data, financing trends, RSS feeds, press releases and more.