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Pizza Guys: There's Room Enough for All Three of Us in Greenport

Pizzeria owners say they believe Greenport can support all three businesses through the winter.

Greenport Village, population 2,400, is now home to three — count 'em — three pizzerias. But each owner of these establishments say they have no doubt that there's room enough for all of them in the village, even during the winter, when tourism slows to a near halt.

According to pizzeria entrepreneurs Joe Pagano, Emilio Trotta and John Ramirez, each of them offers affordable dining options compared with the newer, trendier restaurants that have sprung up in Greenport in recent years.

Pagano, who has been serving pizza on the North Fork since 1993, is a newcomer to the Greenport pizza scene since the lease at his longstanding Southold location was not renewed earlier this year. He's operated on Front Street for the last couple of seasons and

Pagano said he never meant to step on anyone’s toes when he moved his pizza business to Greenport, but he did not have a choice and is still looking for space in Southold, Cutchogue, and Mattituck.

Pagano said he will be running a lot of specials, such as his $8.99 large cheese that he offers on Friday and Saturday nights, to make it through the winter on the North Fork.

“Right now, I feel like I’m selling more dinners than pizzas,” Pagano said.

Emilio Trotta of on Main Street said he is not worried about the other pizzerias in Greenport because he said there will always be competition when you open a business.

“I have a following, and I don’t compare myself to anyone else,” Trotta said.

Emilio's opened in Greenport in 2006. Trotta described his cooking as “different, very old school.” His Greenport restaurant is actually the fourth restaurant he's run, and he said he’s always had a great reputation and a loyal following.

Admitting the last three years have been a “roller coaster,” Trotta said the economy has forced him to “stay on his game” and has kept his quality at 100 percent. He has six children, ages 27-18, and they all work at Emilio’s part-time. His daughter Dana is a pastry chef, and he said her expertise has allowed him to add specialty cake orders and outside catering to his business.

Trotta has designed a new menu for his restaurant, and has what he describes as 10 really nice traditional Italian dinners, which include salad and bread.

John Ramirez, owner of, said when he opened his shop 14 years ago, there were four other businesses that sold pizza in Greenport and two on Shelter Island. He said his business has remained consistent and is well-established.

Ramierz said he takes pride in the fact that he has a full staff in a bad economy and is able to turn around the product quicker than businesses that only have one or two people working. Ramirez also said that La Capricciosa starts each day with fresh product.

La Capricciosa's business is about 70 percent pizza and about 30 percent orders from the kitchen and dining room, according to Ramirez. When he opened the restaurant portion of his business five years ago, he did not know what to expect but he says he keeps his prices low and his portions large.

"I tell people it's always dinner and lunch for the next day when they come in," Ramirez said.

According to Greenport Mayor David Nyce, Desiderio's Pizzeria occupied the space that is currently Emilio's for quite a few years, and Christie's Pizza was also up and running in the space that is now on Front Street during that same time. And La Cappricciosa was just starting out, he said.

"There have been three pizzerias before, and I hope they all do well this time around," Nyce said. "I've eaten at them all and I like them all.

Ramirez said he is not worried about local competition, new or not-so-new.

"I tell our guys not to focus on what the other guys are doing. We need to stay focused on what's going on with us," Ramirez said.

Trotta agrees and said all three restaurants have one thing in common.

“We all work very hard at what we do,” Trotta said.

forward thinking November 16, 2011 at 01:27 PM
La Capricciosa Pizza - the best baked ziti and fresh pizza east of momma lambardy
T. December 08, 2011 at 10:03 PM
Pagano's is only one to offer gluten-free pizza. In fact it is the only restaurant of any kind on the North Fork to so specifically address this need. That, I believe, deserves special mention.

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