Crispino’s Pizza is now open for business, with owner John Crispino serving up his New York-style pizza and classic Italian dishes at 5031 Market St.
Crispino operated Crispino’s Pizza in Morehead City for seven years before deciding to sell the business and relocate to Wilmington, where he traveled twice a week to play ice hockey.
Crispino had mixed feelings about selling his well-established business and starting over in a new city, he said, but in the end, he made the move. It took him a year of scouting locations before eventually purchasing the building at 5031 Market St. He said that sadly, in the meantime, the new owners of his Morehead City business did not keep up the quality and service he had established, and the restaurant is now closed.
“It’s hard to see something that you worked so hard to establish not do well once it’s in someone else’s hands,” Crispino said. “But in a way I’m glad they’re not open since the quality and the reviews had gone so far downhill and my name was still associated with it. I wouldn’t want that to have an impact on the business here.”
Crispino invested in a full kitchen remodel and has completed some cosmetic updates to the 55-seat dining room, including new floors and ceilings and paint.
The menu at Crispino’s focuses on pizza, Stromboli, calzones, hot and cold subs and Italian dishes such as spaghetti and meatballs, chicken and veal parmesan, baked ziti and fettuccini alfredo, all prepared with high-quality ingredients. There are currently about 10 entree items, but Crispino hopes to expand that number as business grows. Because everything is made to order, the kitchen can accommodate special orders and requests as long as it’s something they have in house.
“The quality of the ingredients is very important to me,” Crispino said. “So if that means starting out with a smaller menu so that things don’t go to waste while we’re still building our customer base, then to me, that’s the smart thing to do.”
Crispino’s serves pizza by the slice as well as Sicilian pizza and a variety of salads: Greek, Caesar, antipasto and a house salad. Beer and wine are available.
“Considering we opened during a snow storm, it’s surprising how much business we’ve had,” Crispino said. “I take it as a good sign that we’ve already had some repeat customers during our first week.”
Crispino’s Pizza is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday – Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
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