Longtime South Florida pizzeria and Italian restaurant John the Baker will celebrate its grand opening at a new location today. The restaurant, which was closed for a month, will reopen at 11 a.m., Monday, August 11.
Owner John Scincariello told Clean Plate Charlie the move from his 10-year-old Cooper City restaurant to its new location was a welcome one. When a neighboring business decided to expand, Scincariello agreed to end his lease early and relocate about ten miles away.
The 3,000-square-foot establishment is "one of the nicest pizzerias I've seen in awhile," he said, with loft-style ceilings, exposed metal ductwork, and red and black decor. The menu will remain the same, offering the house-favorite garlic rolls as well as house-made sausage, sauces, soups, cannelloni, and pizza dough.
"Everything I do today is the same way I prepared food when I was growing up in my father's restaurant," said Scinicariello. "Nothing has changed since my childhood."
Scinicariello began working at the original John the Baker -- which opened in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1960 -- at the age of 5. He later relocated to South Florida in 1973, working as the manager at his uncle's restaurant, Mario the Baker, a popular North Miami pizza restaurant restaurant. Two decades later, Scincariello opened his own John the Baker in Pembroke Pines Pines in 1996.
The Broward County pizzeria has remained a stand-by for many years and has received media attention for its family atmosphere -- especially with its policy toward high school employees. In addition to a faithful staff that has been with him since the late '70s, Scincariello said he trains new hires with plenty of tough love.
"They have to show me their report cards to keep their jobs here, as well as be responsible and hard-working," said Scinicariello. "School comes first, and I teach my staff old-fashioned values. It's part of the proud tradition my grandfather taught us. Prepare food fresh, using fresh ingredients -- and treat your workers and customers like family."
John the Baker is now located at 2116 N. Flamingo Road. Visit JohnTheBaker.net (beware: The site autoplays some audio), or call 954-252-0091.
Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.