Wooster Square has moved a little closer to campus.
Luigi’s Apizza, located on York Street two doors down from Bangkok Gardens, serves traditional Italian dishes, grinders and 99-cent slices of pizza. The restaurant, which opened March 12, is set up mostly for takeout, with several stools at the counter. Delivery service will begin in April.
Owner Louise Abate said the delivery service will cover all of Yale’s on- and off-campus housing, but she is still mapping out the details.
In a town full of pizza places, Abate said her pizza is different because of the quality. The Abate family has been in the pizza business for decades. Abate’s grandfather opened Luigi’s on Whalley Avenue in 1956, and her father owns Abate on Wooster Street, which has been open for nine years.
Abate said her family’s traditional Italian pizza tastes better because of the thin crust, Italian tomatoes, imported pecorino cheese and whole milk mozzarella cheese.
Abate said she picked the York Street location in order to serve the hungry but poor college community.
“When I went to Southern Connecticut State University, my friends and I ate pizza all the time because it was cheap and filling, but it wasn’t good pizza,” Abate said. “This is an opportunity to serve the community. If you know what good pizza is and that’s what you want, that’s what we’re here to do.”
Though Luigi’s has only been open for one week, Abate anticipates that the restaurant’s customers will mostly be downtown office workers during the day and college students at night.
“The idea is to serve customers as quickly as possible,” Abate said. “We load up the ovens and keep it going. It’s a cheap lunch — beat that — 99 cents for a slice.”
While Luigi’s does not have a liquor license, it does have stuffed bread, stromboli and foccaccia made fresh daily, priced from $2 to $4. They also serve a wide variety of hot and cold grinders, ranging from $5 to $6.75. Their homestyle dinners include lasagna, stuffed shells, fettuccini alfredo and chicken parmigiana and cost $5.50 to $11.50.
Pizza toppings include fresh sauteed spinach, sundried tomatoes, grilled chicken and the popular fresh clams. Large one-topping pizzas sell for $11.50.
For those living closer to Whitney Avenue, Abate is also opening Abate Brothers at 77 Whitney.
“It will have a similar menu, but it has a bigger kitchen, so we can try more things,” Abate said.
Abate Brothers will have a dining room downstairs and will serve panini, Italian sandwiches toasted in a sandwich press. Abate said they have not yet decided if Abate Brothers will serve liquor.
Abate Brothers will open within the next two weeks.
Luigi’s Apizza opens at 11 a.m. and currently stays open until 10 or 11 p.m.
“We’re waiting for customer response,” Abate said. “We’ll extend our hours if we have a lot of late-night business.”
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