Twenty-two year old Frank Maola was born and bred in the hospitality business.
This week, Maola followed his family's footsteps with the opening of his own restaurant, Phil's Pizza & Restaurant of Wantagh.
Phil's Pizza & Restaurant was founded more than 25 years ago in North Massapequa. Since its inception, Phil's Pizza has transformed into a staple of the Massapequa community and has began to expand throughout Nassau County.
The restaurant's third location, following Massapequa and Syosset, opened earlier this month where Sapporito once stood at 1378 Wantagh Avenue.
"We changed the menu from Sapporito's, and we made minor renovations in the dining room," said Maola, a Franklin Square resident. "I think the fact that people already know the Phil's name will help us a lot."
Maola has spent nearly 15 years learning the ins and outs of running an Italian restaurant and is confident in his ability to bring Phil's Pizza to new heights.
"Being 22, I think some people don't take you serious as a business owner, but I've been working in my parent's restaurants since I was eight years old," he said. "It was a family business, so I worked all the time."
"Today, you have to work a lot harder than you did 10 years ago to make a successful business," Maola added. "It's all about the work you put into it."
Maola said in addition to hard work, Phil's Pizza takes pride in maintaining a loyal customer base and hopes to do so in its new home. The new Wantagh eatery is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner featuring both takeout and a full dining room.
"I want Phil's to be a household name, a restaurant that everyone knows," Maola said. "We keep our customers and we treat them well, like our own family. I hope that we can do that here in Wantagh, too."