When Slice of Bay Shore opens its doors in September, locals won’t believe their eyes. The old Friendly’s building has been completely renovated with white subway tile, wainscoting and new stainless steel pizza ovens. And they will be greeted by a familiar face. After about 20 years of cooking at Mamma Santina Pizza in Brightwaters, Giovanni “John” Digirolamo, is branching out on his own.
“This is a perfect fit for me. I know everybody here,” said Digirolamo, who credits the support of his father-in-law/silent partner in helping him move forward. “I’ve watched so many kids grow up in this town and start their own families, and I’m just really happy to continue to be a part of it.”
Digirolamo spent more than two years looking for a spot, including options in Patchogue, but Bay Shore felt like home. He closed on the space in April 2016 and has been hard at work building the new family-friendly Italian restaurant.
The new space has a modern vibe with clean lines, a neutral color palette (opposed to traditional reds and yellows) and several different areas that feel united.
“I wanted to make sure that the new restaurant was bright and airy,” Digirolamo said.
In addition to the eat-in pizzeria up front, a custom-made bar flanked by a brick wall will serve as a segue into the dining room at the rear of the building. The new kitchen will run alongside the entire east side of the restaurant.
The food menu is still being finalized, but diners can look forward to noshing on many “traditional favorites with a twist.” A sneak peek at the menu revealed mouth-watering dishes like portobello mushrooms stuffed with polenta, asiago cheese and prosciutto, angel hair pasta with arugula, pecorino and walnuts, shrimp oreganato and an escarole and meatball soup.
Paying close attention to the needs and wants of the community, Digirolamo is working on permits for an outdoor patio as well. Slice will also be open seven days a week and will offer delivery service.
“There aren’t that many restaurants in town that offer food for delivery,” said Digirolamo. “You’ve got a lot of working families in this area and sometimes, they just need some help getting dinner on the table.”
Slice of Bay Shore will be located at 298 West Main Street