– The Patch– April 10, 2019 –
Santucci’s Original Square Pizza, a popular family business in Philadelphia, has expanded to the Boardwalk.
OCEAN CITY, N.J. — In 1959, the late Joseph and Philomena Santucci opened the first Santucci’s Original Square Pizza in South Philadelphia. Now with several Philadelphia locations, the family pizza business will open on the Ocean City Boardwalk.
Santucci’s will open a storefront at 944 Boardwalk, next to Curly’s Fries. They’re shooting to open before Memorial Day Weekend, said owner and catering director Alicia Santucci.
“We’re really excited to be part of the community,” Santucci said. “We look for family-friendly areas. I think that’s kind of what compliments our brand, family. That’s really everything Ocean City is, so I think it will be a perfect fit.”
Santucci’s in Ocean City will be open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and will most likely stay open later on Friday and Saturday nights.
Joe and Phil’s children and grandchildren have kept the family business alive. Within the last 40 years, Frank Santucci — with help from his three children — expanded his parents’ business to the Italian Market, North Broad and Roxborough in Philadelphia.
“There are people who swear by these places — run buy three different branches of the original Santucci family — scattered around the Northeast and points south (where the Original Square branch scored a),” Jason Sheehan wrote in Philly Mag. “They’ll fight you over which one is best. But really, they’ve all got that same low-walled, Philly-not-Detroit squareness and a pillowy dough that you can’t find anywhere else.”
But the Santucci’s have been familiar with Ocean City long before acquiring a boardwalk storefront.
“My family goes to Ocean City probably every weekend from now until Labor Day,” Alicia Santucci said. “So it’s just a good fit that we will be able to keep an eye on the store, keep an eye on the employees, make sure that things are consistent, as we do with our stores in the Philadelphia area.”
Ocean City will hold the first Santucci’s location outside of Philadelphia. But the chain is also constructing a location in Ventnor.
The Ventnor location will be their largest yet. It will include a 3,000-square foot rooftop deck. But it will probably open later in the summer because of the ambitious construction project. That gave Santucci’s even more time to focus on Ocean City’s grand opening.
“It was just a good fit at the right time, so we kind of jumped on it,” Alicia Santucci said.