A farewell to Bellport Village

Former owners head to Florida


Papa Nick’s Pizzeria in Bellport Village has been a community staple for over 20 years. Sal Tauriello and his wife, Alissa took over the joint in 2001 from his father, Nick, the name behind the storefront.

But Nick wasn’t just the name, according to Sal—his father came up with all the original recipes, including the sauce and dough, while his mother, he said, created the meatball recipe.

The secret to owning a successful pizza place, Sal said, is keeping everything the same with quality ingredients so customers get the same taste every time.

Their family pizza business started in the ‘60s and ‘70s when his grandfather started buying and selling them. His father, Nick, then opened up his first place in 1987 in Lake Ronkonkoma when Sal was just a teen.

“I worked there forever, all through college and everything,” he said.

He went on to work in South Hampton Hospital, where he met his wife while both working in in the lab.

The couple married in 2000 and lived in Mastic.

“We said my dad is making more money-making pizza than we do working for the hospital, and so we bought his store in Bellport Village,” he added.

Together they have three children and three grandchildren: Deanna, 31, who lives in Florida with three children; Alexa, 23, who goes to Stony Brook University; and Sebastian, 21, who goes to Oswego.

Over the years, the pizzeria was run by family, including several nieces, nephews and cousins, who helped cover the shifts.

As of August, the Tauriellos will be relocating to Port St. Lucie, Fla., and plan to spend more time with family. They are open about what work they will find down there—and haven’t closed the door to the possibility of opening up a pizza place.

By the end of the week, Sal will have worked his last day at the Bellport pizzeria.

“Hopefully, I get to see everyone this week,” he said, noting the new owners will be fully transitioned. However, their daughter Alexa has been asked to stay on as manager.

What will they miss most about the beloved pizza shop?

Both Sal and Alissa, hands down, said the customers.

“They were all so great,” Sal said.

“They were all so lovely,” added Alissa. “I couldn’t be there the last week—I couldn’t keep it in.”


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