They Said it Couldn’t Be Done

Pizza Villa and Italian Restaurant Finds a Way

Danny was told 29 years ago that you cannot make authentic New York Pizza in Florida. They said it was something to do with the water, he remembered with a smirk.

His recipes came form trusted family traditions that have been served for decades in successful family owned eateries in Brooklyn and Long Island. Danny grew up with the techniques that have kept those businesses thriving for decades. He brought them to Hernando County, when he and his wife Angela left the chaos of Long Island to raise their son and daughter in the sunshine state.

The dream to start a pizzeria began taking shape when they found a storefront in the Bealls/Walmart Shopping Center and hired a contractor to build the restaurant. But before the job was complete, the contractor abandoned the project, taking their money and leaving them with an endless collection of unpaid bills.

Determined to forge ahead, Danny and Angela liquidated whatever they could including selling a second auto. When they moved down from Long Island they bought with them two gallons of pennies never knowing that they would ever use them. The night before opening, they realized they had no opening money for the register. That night they rolled the pennies to convert into bills the next morning, which literally made them use the last penny to their name.

The line outside the door spread into the parking lot, exciting the couple and restoring their faith in their dream. The tradition of Pizza Villa was born August 26, 1988 and continues with two locations. The original location from the Bealls shopping center moved 8 years ago to Coastal Landing shopping center where Petco and Marshalls is located.

It evidently worked, attracting enough business to justify opening a second location in 2004 on Spring Hill Drive, just 2 miles east of Mariner Blvd in a free standing building.

Consistency and hard work is what has kept him opened, even though he was told it couldn’t be done, using the same family recipe he took from Brooklyn and never changed it.

The two locations pull customers from all over the Nature Coast, keeping Danny, Angela and their son Anthony busy enough as they bounce from both locations. It is family owned and operated business since 1988.

Pizza Villa’s longevity in the community is linked to several factors. Danny never changed his recipes since day one, serves great food and pizza along with providing great service from his staff and he is still actively working in his business like he did when he started. Pizza Villas has been voted Hernando’s Best for Pizza and Italian Restaurant.

Besides pizza, they have a very extensive Italian menu for pastas, veal, chicken and seafood.

Their customers are like family to them, serving them for almost 27 years and now serving the second generation of those families. It has been truly a blessing that Danny and Angela are very grateful for everyday.