Nu Yalk Pizza thrives after move from longtime location |

Nu Yalk Pizza thrives after move from longtime location

Rob Sabo

Sometimes moving on is a good thing.

Rick Crocitto, owner of Nu Yalk Pizza, was shocked when he learned in 2010 that he’d be forced to move his pizzeria from its 30-plus year home at the corner of Moana and Kietzke lanes to make room for the Moana Lane street widening project.

Crocitto scouted several locations, including a vacant building at Firecreek Crossing near Walmart and a former Wendy’s location at the corners of Neil Road and South Virginia Street.

Crocitto eventually decided to build from the ground up on a dirt lot near WinCo Foods on South Virginia, and Nu Yalk Pizza re-opened in the summer of 2012.

The restaurant has since hit it big in its new home, says Robert “RC” Crocitto, the owner’s son.

Annual revenue has increased 85 percent from the old location. Employment has doubled as well, and Nu Yalk Pizza now employs 14. The younger Crocitto says transitioning to the new 8,000-square-foot building — which cost $2.2 million and required the owners to obtain a special-use permit — was like building an airplane in flight. Although the building was designed to handle a larger flow of customers, accommodating heavy lunchtime volumes hungry for the signature one-topping pizza slice and waves of families at night proved challenging to counter and cooking crews.

“My dad pretty much had a concept that the location would be awesome and we could blow the doors off,” Crocitto says.

Crocitto attributes several factors to the restaurant’s success, including 10 well-used Internet stations (sites are filtered), a self-service wine bar that’s become a cornerstone of the pizzeria’s revenue and wide-open parking lots.

“It’s a good location and area with a steady amount of growth,” Crocitto says. “We also seem to have better availability with the neighborhoods and clientele — the congestion on Moana took its toll.”