Business Spotlights

Business Profile: Calabria Pizza & Pasta, Shrub Oak

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Dec. 23 NWE BOW PixDanny Alo always wanted to name a business after the southern region of Italy where his parents are from, and 18 months ago he achieved that dream when he opened Calabria Pizza & Pasta on Old Yorktown Road in Shrub Oak.

“I feel like I’ve been here a long time. I like Yorktown. So far, so good,” Alo said inside the restaurant that he remodeled after he took over. “I don’t look at it as a job. It’s something I take pride in. This is easy for me. I love doing this.”

Having attended nearby Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School as a kid and graduating from Walter Panas High School in 1996, Alo, 36, is very familiar with the area. He’s also very familiar with the restaurant industry, following in the footsteps of his father, who resides in Cortlandt, and other family members. Ironically, the landlord of the building where Calabria is located cooked with his father about 30 years ago.

Alo studied criminal justice in college and worked in the produce business before opening Two Brothers in Montrose with his brother, Fabio, in 2001.

“I just went in for a slice of pizza one day and the guy said he wanted to sell it,” said Alo, who noted his sister had moved to Montrose at the time.

He said it was also “a fluke” that he found out about the availability of the storefront at 3861 Old Yorktown Road, near Lakeland Liquors, and when he did he couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

“I said it would be nice to come back to the area,” recalled Alo, who lives in Dutchess County with his wife of eight years and three young sons. “I used to hang out a lot in this area. A lot of people know me.”

Calabria Pizza & Pasta takes pride in “product and consistency,” according to Alo, who works 14 to 15-hour days, six days a week.

“That’s what I’m about. We keep it all about product. That’s the name of the game,” he said. “We’re a small place. We try to keep it simple.”

Calabria offers a full menu of pasta dishes, entrees, salads, wedges and, of course, pizza, including a popular round Grandma pizza. Each week they add a sandwich inspired by customers with names such as The Godfather, The Soprano, and The Frankenstein Wedge. Wednesday night features “Pasta Craze” specials for $9.95.

“We’re all about customer service. If you don’t see it, ask. If we have it we’ll make it. We don’t say no to people,” Alo said.

In October, Calabria won first place honors in the Yorktown Small Business Association’s fall pizza contest. Alo said he was reluctant to enter but was encouraged by his brother who had battled thyroid cancer.

“I was nervous, but it worked out,” he said. “It felt good. It’s helped me a lot. It’s gotten the name out.”

Alo, who recently lost 35 pounds, is considering expanding Calabria in the next year or so. In the meantime, he’s enjoying the fruits of his labor.

“Life is good,” he said. “This business is like Lotto. If you want to win, you have to be in it.”

Calabria Pizza & Pasta is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 9:30 p.m. Free local delivery. (914) 556-6410 or (914) 556-6411.


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