REVERE — Loyal customers will rush to Revere Beach to get a taste of Bianchi’s Pizza this weekend before the iconic restaurant is shuttered. But it won’t be their last taste.
“We have plans to move somewhere very close,” said Bobby Bianchi, who runs the restaurant with his father, Butch.
“We started on the beach — we want to stay on the beach,” said Bianchi. “I don’t have children, so this is how I’m going to carry on my name.”
Bianchi declined to comment on where the restaurant would be moving until legal agreements are finalized, but he said Bianchi’s pizza lovers shouldn’t worry.
“We’ve had a lot of people very upset that we’re closing down,” said Bianchi. “It looks like things might be looking up now. There might be a silver lining.”
Bianchi’s, which rents the space, announced it was closing last spring to make way for apartments.
The City Council approved construction of a 145-unit apartment development at Bianchi’s, next to the St. George Condominiums on Revere Beach Boulevard. Construction plans for the $50 million project include a space for retail space on the first floor, which many assumed could be occupied by the iconic pizza place.
The parcels are owned by the Ash Family Limited Partnership of Wakefield, which include two buildings and three vacant lots assessed at $1.1 million, according to Suffolk County Registry of Deeds.
Under the terms of a purchase and sales agreement, the parcels would be sold to A Chara Development of Revere and the NRP Group, a Cleveland apartment developer.
The development team plans to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with a six-story structure of studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, and 2,500 square feet of retail space on the first floor. Parking will be below.
Bianchi’s is described online as a “no-frills, no-seating, counter-service operation dishing up thin-crust cheese slices since 1950.” It was opened in the early 1950s by Bianchi’s uncle, Anthony, at the ripe old age of 17.
His uncle Anthony, who died earlier this summer, worked as a dishwasher at a pizza shop. When a pizza maker didn’t show up to work, he was called upon to step up to the oven. And he succeeded.
Bianchi’s uncle started the first Bianchi’s restaurant on Revere Beach around 1952. At one time, the business was so successful there were three places to pick up a slice along the beach.
Bianchi’s is closing out its fifth decade serving simple pizza next to the St. George Condominiums on Revere Beach Boulevard.
“For many, this place was their childhood,” said Bianchi. “Their parents took them here and then they took their kids here.”
As was the case with the Dudley family, who chowed down on cheese slices on the beach Friday afternoon.
“I was in high school when it opened,” said Karen Dudley, of Malden. “My husband, who was my boyfriend then, and I would come here and get pizza.”
Friday, she enjoyed her favorite pizza with her mother Anna Bonvie, sister Donna DeAngelo, and granddaughter Brooklyn.
“Four generations later, we’re still coming here,” said Dudley.
The family agreed it was a combination of the thin crust, simplicity of the recipe, and the fun of fending off lurking seagulls on the beach that keeps them coming back.
“The crust is thin — you can eat it and not feel bad after,” said DeAngelo. “I could eat another.”