Biz X Was There – Antonino’s Goes For a Bigger Slice of The Pizza Pie!
On Tuesday, October 15, 2019, City of Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens, Windsor Regional Chamber of Commerce President Rakesh Naidu and plenty of other local VIPS were in attendance for the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for Antonino’s Original Pizza’s new South Windsor location.
“Pizza, cannoli, and refreshments were served and the event was open to the public,” says proud event host and Antonino’s owner, Joe Ciaravino.
Miss Universe Canada, Alyssa Boston was also in attendance and Father Richard Cartier, formerly of South Windsor’s Christ the King and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parishes, gave the blessing.
As well, $10,000 was donated to Family Respite Services!
“In honour of my parents, Antonino and Vita Ciaravino — two of Windsor’s pizza pioneers — we at Antonino’s are all IN so that Family Respite Services can build a new respite home,” declares Ciaravino. “My parents left a legacy and their legacy lives on in our new South Windsor building and what we do in it, as well as our Tecumseh and LaSalle locations. Our donation to our good neighbours at Family Respite Services honours their legacy.”
So how did this local success story begin?
After opening much larger pizzerias in the neighbouring towns of Tecumseh and LaSalle, it’s long overdue that, “the little pizzeria that could,” on the corner of Howard and North Talbot, expanded its facilities as well. “We outgrew our 780 square foot South Windsor location about 10 years ago,” states Ciaravino.
Located at 4350 Howard Avenue, right next door to their original location, the new 1,900 square foot flagship store was designed by Settimo Vilardi of Archon Architects and built by Rosati Construction Inc.
The reclaimed brick, two-story building has a rustic, old world look and Antonino’s trademark green, white, and red awning. In the kitchen, six pizza ovens pump out pizzas at record volume. The new restaurant boasts seating and an outdoor patio. The upper floor houses a large residential unit.
Joe’s father, Antonino “Tony” Ciaravino, was one of Windsor’s pizza pioneers. After emigrating from Sicily in the early 1950’s, in 1959 he opened the first pizzeria in the area now known as South Windsor.
“My dad didn’t invent Windsor-style pizza but he took the Windsor-style pizza recipe and improved upon it, and that’s the recipe we use today,” he comments.
In 1999, Joe, following in his father’s footsteps — as well as his mother’s, he is sure to point out — opened his first pizzeria and named it after his dad. Today, more than 30 area pizzerias can trace their roots directly back to Tony’s original Dougall Avenue location.
However, “If you want a truly authentic Windsor-style pizza, made the traditional way… give us a call at one of our three locations,” Ciaravino adds with a smile.
For more information please see page 32 of the October issue of Biz X magazine.
Photos by Rod Denis – Biz X magazine