When Cinnaminson's Acme market , Nick Scotto says he was a bit worried.
And for good reason.
Through Acme’s front doors, hundreds of daily grocery shoppers ambled in to buy bananas, hamburgers or milk on their way to work, school or home, and passed right by Scotto’s restaurant, a familiar fixture since 1978.
And then the foot traffic stopped.
But because of a loyal following—not to mention some of the best pizza in the region—Scotto was able to weather some rough sailing over the last year.
Scotto hails residents: “My local customers stayed with me, even after the Acme closed. That means a lot."
Taking stock of the last 34 years, Scotto says because of his dedicated patrons, he’s decided to open another restaurant in the area and is banking on the support of his customers to make it a success.
A native of Naples, Italy, who came to this country 36 years ago, Scotto bought the well-known pizzeria from the Cappola family, relatives of his wife Chiara. The family has owned several restaurants and are based in Trenton.
On a recent afternoon, Scotto, accompanied by his daughter Sonia Scotto, a recent Stockton College graduate, stood in the middle of his soon-to-open eatery, Nick’s Pizza and Pasta, in The Shoppes at Cinnaminson, as five or so construction workers hung drywall, wired lighting and laid flooring.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed by Scotto that the shopping center, where is the anchor store and only a handful of storefronts remain unoccupied, has had a groundswell of community patronage.
The Delran resident also notes while the did affect his business slightly, it also pushed him to open another restaurant, one he had been thinking about that would have an expanded menu.
And despite slow economic times, Scotto points out people still like to go out to eat. And his prices will remain gentle on budgets.
“We will have all of the foods here that we have been serving for years,” says Scotto. “But we are going to be adding salads, and pastas like penne, baked ziti and chicken parmesan.
Family members, like Sonia and her two sisters, will continue to grill steaks and stuff hoagies, according to Scotto. And locals will soon be eating their way through the parlor's popular pizzas like Margherita, and steak and bacon.
The new restaurant, which is an airy and cheerful room, will have tiled floors, red-and-blue booths, a modern glass blacksplash and granite countertops.
The Internet will have a major impact on Scotto’s customer reach, with a newly designed website, plus Scotto is asking patrons to follow him on Twitter.
“And the cash registers will be computerized,” boasts Scotto.
A soft opening for Nick’s Pizza and Pasta is slated toward the end of June, with a grand opening in the fall. Scotto says Brother’s Pizza will remain open.
The restaurant will be hiring two to four full-time and part-time employees.
“It’s a new challenge, but the time had come,” says Scotto. “And we’re ready for it.”
Nick’s Pizza and Pasta can be reached at 856-829-0300 and online at Nickspizzaandpasta.net. Follow the restaurant on Twitter, @nickspizzapasta.