Marzullo’s Turns 25 Years Old

Montclair, NJ, August 24, 2007 --( Marzullo’s Restaurant and Café, one of Montclair’s premiere eateries, turns 25 years old this year. Opened September 1, 1982, this family-run business started out as a small Italian “Salumeria,” or Italian specialty store, featuring homemade mozzarella, overstuffed sandwiches, dinners to go, and Mamma Marzullo’s famous chicken soup.

Today, the restaurant and caterer occupies about a quarter of a block on Grove Street near Walnut Street and features a menu ranging from pizza to Chilean sea bass – not to mention the imported Italian gelato, and specialty desserts. And to celebrate its 25h birthday, the restaurant will now serve breakfast.

“We are celebrating 25 years of friendships,” said Raffaele Marzullo, co-owner of the restaurant with his brother Mimmo. “Others come and go, but we have withstood the test of time.”

Twenty-five years ago, the Grove Street address to become Marzullo’s was a boarded up shell, a grocery store condemned by the city’s Health Department. Unlike the thriving neighborhood it is now, few believed the location was ideal for a people-oriented business.

But Raffaele, then 23, and Mimmo, 18 and still in high school when the restaurant opened, saw promise.

Maria (Mamma) Marzullo and sister Marialena took control of the closet-sized kitchen and several years of 80-hour work weeks ensued.

The hard work paid off. Soon friends were telling friends the food tasted just like Grandma used to make.

Perhaps the toughest time in the establishment’s history came in 2001 when an electrical fire that started in the basement gutted the deli.

Given such a devastating blow, many speculated the deli/cafe might not re-open, but that’s not what Raffaele and Mimmo had in mind.

Raffaele and Mimmo reopened in July 2002 after an 18-month hiatus – bigger and better than ever.

The deli had been transformed into a full-blown restaurant featuring seafood, veal, steak and chicken dinners, 40 pasta specialties, and unforgettable appetizers including fried calamari, clams and oysters. Two new rooms have also been added to the restaurant, and Marzullo’s is now also open for breakfast.

The principle behind Marzullo’s success remains the same.

“All our dishes are over-stuffed,” explained Raffaele. “We give oversized portions, but not overpriced.

“We want people to feel they can come here a few times a week instead of once a month,” he added. “Instead of cooking, come to our home.”

For more information about Marzullo’s Restaurant and Cafe’s 25-year celebration, contact Raffaele Marzullo at (973) 979-3999. Marzullo’s is located at 117 Grove St., Montclair, NJ, 07042.

Marzullo's Restaurant
Raffaele M. Marzullo