Not many restaurants can go without a sign for months and maintain steady business. Smithtown community cornerstone Villa Napoli at 82 W. Main Street is one of them.
"Our original sign was there for a very long time and during a storm last winter it was damaged from the wind," owner John Imossi said. "We decided to rip it all down and start from scratch, but it took a couple months for the town to give us the permits to replace it."
During those winter months, Imossi said business was not substantially affected, since it was cold and most of the orders were for delivery. Plus, Villa Napoli has 35-years worth of regular customers, who did not need a sign to find their favorite pizza.
Imossi, a Smithtown native who is seasoned in the food industry, brought Villa Napoli four years ago, directly from the restaurant's original owners. He heard that the owners were looking to sell the restaurant and saw an opportunity to work right in his hometown.
Imossi serves up traditional Italian-American cuisine and atmosphere at Villa Napoli and combines his previous experience as a waiter, bartender and cook to serve his regular customers and newcomers.
Villa Napoli is divided between a front pizzeria and back restaurant, separated only by a wooden door. Old-world Italian music streaming through the back restaurant constantly mixes with the banter of the pizzeria.
The menu has remained largely unchanged throughout the years, but each year Imossi, his wife and brother-in-law review the menu and add new specials.
Imossi has noticed the neighborhood changing and the effects of the slow economy, as new restaurants open on Main Street and other spaces remain vacant.
"Business is not as consistent as it once was, but we still have our regular walk-ins," Imossi said. "Smithtown is great and I'm glad to be here and doing well."
Check out our latest review of Villa Napoli.