The Legendary Taste
| Dominick Pulieri, Joseph Paglianite, and Mary Jean Paglianite|
Grotto Pizza is a chain of restaurants that sell pizza and other Italian-American dishes, primarily located in the U.S. state of Delaware with a few locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The chain originated in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in 1960, and has since expanded across the state of Delaware. Over the past few decades, it has become a regional Pizza icon with a loyal following from both locals and tourists.
Grotto Pizza Wikipedia
Grotto Pizza's main product is pizza, which is made with a swirl of sauce atop the cheese. The pizzas come with a variety of toppings along with specialty pizzas. In addition to pizza, Grotto Pizza also serves calzones, appetizers, soup, salad, submarine sandwiches, burgers, pasta, Buffalo wings, and dessert options including gelato.
As of 2016, Grotto Pizza has 23 locations in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. In Delaware, Grotto Pizza has several locations in the Delaware Beaches area, in addition to locations in Seaford, Milford, Dover, Middletown, Newark, and Wilmington. The chain also has three locations in the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area along with four locations in Maryland, two of which are in Ocean City along with locations in Gambrills and Columbia.
Grotto Pizza was founded in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in 1960 by Dominick Pulieri and his brother-in-law Joseph Paglianite and his sister Mary Jean Paglianite. Pulieri was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from King's College with a degree in Biology. While living in Pennsylvania, he worked at his brother-in-law's pizza place, Joe's Pizza, in Harveys Lake. The first Grotto Pizza location was a take-out stand located along Rehoboth Avenue. When the first location opened, people in Delaware were not familiar with pizza. In order to attract customers, Pulieri and his sister gave out free samples, and eventually the restaurant attracted both local Sussex County residents and tourists as regular customers.
Grotto Pizza opened a second location in Rehoboth Beach on the boardwalk in 1963, and the Rehoboth Avenue restaurant moved to a larger location in 1967. The restaurant was originally a seasonal business only open during the summer months but became year-round in 1974. Grotto Pizza has grown to include locations throughout the state of Delaware along with a few locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Grotto Pizza has become a cultural icon in Delaware, particularly at the beach.
In 2015, Grotto Pizza opened a restaurant in Gambrills, Maryland. This marks the beginning of a plan to expand into the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, where a lot of the summertime customers at the locations at the Delaware and Maryland beaches come from.