The oven, built on site, is a brick-by-brick duplicate of that oven, including iron castings from the original mold. Gary Bimonte, owner of Frank Pepe’s Pizza and grandson of the epononymous pizzeria’s founder, fired up the oven April 30. The highly regarded Pepe’s Pizzas, are cooked using an original 1925 recipe and the coal fired,hand-built brick oven, a replica of the one Frank Pepe used in 1925.
“The number one priority is maintaining our family tradition of serving fresh, high-quality pizza that tastes as good as what we’ve been serving in New Haven since 1925,” said Bimonte, Director of Quality Assurance & Training. “Our guests are an extension of the Pepe family, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to share our pizza with the residents of Rhode Island.”
Antinozzi Associates Architecture and Interiors, with offices in Bridgeport and Norwalk, Connecticut, created an atmosphere for Frank Pepe of Warwick evoking the comfort, familiarity and tradition of the original New Haven location. The 4,000 square foot, 90-seat restaurant is visually dominated by the view of its 14 by 14 ft. brick oven and the even larger “paddle area,” where expert pizzaiolos (pizza cooks) create the pizzas on a marble counter and use 16-foot-long paddles to place them in the 104,000 pound oven. The paddle area, framed by an arch of traditional white ceramic tile, also boasts a white antique-style tin ceiling and custom-made art deco-style pendant lighting that complete the iconic look and feel of the center stage prep area.