Business SpotlightsGeneric

Nonna’s Brick Oven Pizzeria and Restaurant of Peekskill

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Mike Kabashi has owned Nonna’s Brick Oven Pizzeria and Restaurant of Peekskill since 2006.
Photo credit: Neal Rentz

Dutchess County resident Mike Kabashi developed a passion for pizza as a youth and has translated that into the ownership of several restaurants.
His latest venture is Nonna’s Brick Oven Pizzeria and Restaurant of Peekskill, located in the Beach Shopping Center. He opened the eatery 11 years ago and regularly makes pizza in his establishment.
Kabashi explained last week why he chose to locate Nonna’s in Peekskill. “Peekskill has always been a great city,” he said, noting one of his former eateries was located on Welcher Avenue. “I liked the shopping center because it’s strategically located.”
Kabashi learned in late 2005 that the lease on the restaurant that had occupied the site was running out and that owner was leaving, so he took over occupancy of the property. After weeks of renovations, Nonna’s opened and became successful “right off the bat,” he said.
Kabashi expanded the kitchen and added customer tables at the site in property that was site of the former adjacent jewelry store.
In the early part of the current decade, Kabashi owned several restaurants and in 2014 decided to limit his ownership to just Nonna’s. Owning many restaurants at the same time became “very overwhelming,” he said.
Brick ovens cook pizzas differently than the typical ovens that bake the hot pies, Kabashi explained. “It cooks from the top. It cooks from the sides and from the bottom,” he said. Traditional pizza ovens cook only from the bottom, he said. The brick pizza oven “cooks much faster and in my experience, it cooks much better.” He said it takes between seven and eight minutes to bake a pizza in a brick oven, adding a brick oven pizza has very crisp baked dough.
Nonna’s offers several different pizza selections. Grandma’s pizza is one of the restaurant’s signature slices, featuring fresh mozzarella, fresh garlic, basil; and plumb tomatoes, as well as Pecorino Romano cheese, Kabashi said.
Another signature pizza is the cold margherita, which features a thin and crispy crust with sauce, sliced plum tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers, basil, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, as well as salt and pepper. “You’ve got yourself a great pie,” Kabashi said.
Nonna’s extensive menu offers a large selection of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, pastas, as well as chicken and veal. Seafood is a particular specialty, Kabashi said.
Nonna’s caters and offers several family meals at discounted prices. A gourmet pizza slice and soft drink costs only $6 and much less expensive than a fast food meal, Kabashi said.
While Kabashi is passionate about his business, another one of his priorities in life is serving others. “I like to help as much as I can,” he said. “There is not a school. There’s not a cheerleading team. There’s not a football team, a baseball team or a dance studio that comes into this place for donations or to pick up an ad that we turn them down.” He said he also regularly donates to local churches, the Red Cross, local police departments and other groups.
In December, Kabashi raised funds for the victims of this year’s natural disasters in America. “We have accumulated a considerable amount of money” and he is going to match the amount of money that was raised during the month, he said.
“We’re blessed with a good business and a good team as well and a good family,” he said. “You must give back.”
Nonna’s Brick Oven Pizzeria and Restaurant of Peekskill is located in the Beach Shopping Ce at 1843 E. Main St. in Peekskill. For more information, call 914-737-3222 or visit

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