The pizzeria did not deliver. It did not take credit cards. There were no printed menus and no bathrooms. And if you called on a busy night to place an order for pick-up, the only thing you might hear on the other end of the line was a busy signal, because the owners had reached their pie-making limit and taken the phone off the hook.
If you were lucky enough to get in the door at DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies, you were rewarded with a hot, thin-crust pizza topped with juicy tomatoes and just the right amount of cheese. That fantastic pie made the lack of amenities and the wait all worth it.
Photographer David Cardaciotto, a loyal DeLorenzo’s fan, visited the Hudson Street location in Chambersburg on closing night to savor one last tomato pie at the Trenton institution that had been in business since 1947.
DeLorenzo’s Owners Gary and Eileen Amico worked overtime the last few weeks to make pizzas for all the people who wanted one last bite of a Hudson street pie. On closing night, customers snapped pictures of the couple (and the pies), gave them big hugs, and reminisced about past visits to the eatery, with first dates being a common theme.
People waited in the cold for more than an hour to get in the door on closing night. Then, just after 9 p.m., Gary turned out the pizza light and the outdoor sign for the last time, while the remaining customers inside waited for their pies to come out of the oven.
Gary and Eileen are enjoying a brief retirement for now, but plans are in the works to open a new restaurant in Newtown, Pa. and word is those famous ovens from Hudson Street will have a new home. DeLorenzo’s lovers can also take solace in the fact that DeLorenzo’s lives on at the family’s restaurant in Robbinsville. The original recipe for the Hudson Street pie has been passed on to Gary and Eileen’s son Sam, who operates the bustling Robbinsville location.