Peters Township is not really morphing into Pizza Township. It just seems that way.
Fiori’s Pizzaria opened Monday, 11 days after Pizza Al’s debuted a quarter-mile north on the opposite side of Route 19.
Their launches raised the value of pie in a township that actually has a large and palatable palette of ethnic food options. Ten bona fide pizza restaurants operate there, and that does not include three places – Pizzaz Italian Restaurant, Grande Italian Restaurant and Bados Cucina – where pizzas are prominent, and numerous other dining establishments that have them on the menu.
Pizza Al’s earned its first Pennsylvania dollar Nov. 21, in a building it renovated between Wendy’s and Arby’s restaurants.
“Business was mediocre the day we opened, but we did pretty well the second day,” said Paul Findley, partner with the founder, Al Roberti, and manager of the local site. “We’re doing more and more business every day.”
This is the third Pizza Al’s restaurant and first outside Morgantown, W.Va. Roberti opened the original shop in 1969.
The Peters site has seating for 40 and a menu that also features hoagies, calzones and salads. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fiori’s, likewise, is in an expansion mode, establishing its second eatery after more than three decades of operation. Fiori Moscatiello founded his business in the early 1980s in the Brookline section of Pittsburgh, little more than a 3-point shot from West Liberty Avenue, also Route 19. It is popular in the southern section of the city plus Dormont and Mt. Lebanon.
Melinda Rich, manager at the Brookline restaurant and Moscatiello’s daughter, was gratified by opening day in Peters. “We’re getting hit hard. The parking lot is filled,” she said Monday afternoon.
Her brother, Fabrizio Moscatiello, is the manager in Peters. His site seats 80 and offers traditional and white pizzas, calzones, hoagies, appetizers, wings, pastas, Italian salad, sauces to go and party trays.
Hours there are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
These openings make Route 19 in Peters a pizza-palooza. Eight of the 10 aforementioned pizza restaurants are within a 1.7-mile stretch of this highway, as are Grande and Bados. Two pie places – Anthony’s Coal-Fired Pizza, which opened Aug. 29, and Ollie’s Pizza – are slightly off Washington Road but close enough.
Italian Village Pizza, Mm! Mm! Pizza, Harry’s Pizza and Vocelli Pizza also are in this stretch.
The outsiders? Pizza Hut and Lorenzo Italian Pizza, which are near the Valley Brook Road-East McMurray Road intersection.