On Long Island there is certainly never a shortage of pizzerias, but there is no doubt that some local establishments have set themselves apart from the rest. Though it is just dough, sauce and cheese in its simplest form, the pizza from Frank’s Pizza of Port Washington has proved to be a favorite for half a century, compelling hungry locals to come back time and time again. The loyalty of the restaurant’s customers has brought the establishment years of enjoyed success, allowing it to celebrate its 50th anniversary on January 1, 2016.
“We’re always busy,” said Linda Colombo, current owner of Frank’s Pizza and daughter of the original owner, Frank Colombo. “That’s never a question.”
It was a modest anniversary celebration, displaying just a sign to share the achievement with its regular customers and those simply passing by. Though Frank’s appears like many other pizzerias, the Main Street storefront embodies a slice of Long Island history.
In 1966, when there was just two other pizza joints in town, Frank Colombo established Frank’s Pizza as one of the first Italian eateries in the town.
Today, there are 12 pizzerias within the neighborhood, but none have had the ability to rate the prominence of Frank’s.
“We’ve been here so long, and I’ve developed a personal relationship with most of my customers,” said Colombo.
While pizza is the obvious staple of Frank’s, it is the extensive menu that keeps people coming back for more. Customer favorites such as chicken noodle soup, Greek salad, skirt steak, filet mignon and grilled salmon have been the highlight of family dinners and large parties alike.
“We take everything to the next level,” said Colombo. “It’s not just pizza, it’s restaurant quality food in a tiny little spot.”
In order to maintain an edge over the local competition, Frank’s Pizza has continually expanded its menu to please a larger demographic. During the Jewish holidays, they include menu items such as potato pancakes and brisket soup.
To appeal to the growing population of health conscious eaters, there are options such as grilled vegetables, zucchini linguine and an array of fresh salads.
A large part of the establishment’s success is due to the influx of catering requests, especially during the summer months. Frank’s can accommodate parties of all sizes and types, ranging from bridal showers, to birthday parties, to corporate events and more. Since the beginning of May, Frank’s Pizza has fulfilled catering requests every weekend, most of which have been large-scale backyard graduation parties.
Colombo has no doubt that the rest of the summer will continue following this trend.
As for the future, the team at Frank’s Pizza has no immediate plans for expansion or relocation, wishing to maintain its authenticity and recognizable spot on Main Street. The restaurant, located at 14 Main St., is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 10 p.m.