This past Saturday was the last day of service at Pagano’s — a longstanding place for pizza and other Italian cuisine in downtown Southold. After 13 years on Route 25, the owners have decided to close up shop in search of a new location in the hamlet.
In the meantime, 16 seats of place — the Greenport restaurant the Paganos opened two years ago on Front Street — have been sacrificed to make way for a pizzeria.
Joe Pagano held a soft opening of the pizzeria on Wednesday and was running advertisements on Thursday.
“We now have everything we had in Southold here, and now people can come in for lunch every day,” he said. “We hope this is a happy experience.”
The hours of That Little Italian Place have expanded to 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Before the pizzeria, Pagano served lunch only on the weekends and closed the restaurants on Tuesdays.
Pagano’s in Southold served everything from pizza, heros and calzones to full pasta, veal and seafood dishes. Joe Pagano Jr., who has always been in business with his father, said they would have to pay significantly higher rent in order to stay in Southold over the next 10 years.
“Basically, the building owner was looking for more money and a renovation, and that’s what drove us out,” he said. “But we still have a good business and a good clientele with loyal customers, and we were successful up until the last day.”