Introduction & Summary

Welcome. The purpose of this site is to present and receive feedback on my research into the origins of pizza and pizzerias in the United States.

I believe I’ve discovered a forgotten generation of bakers who opened pizzerias over a century ago. Of this generation, one baker stands out. Filippo Milone established pizzerias likely in at least six locations in New York City. Of these locations three later became famous under different names: “Pop’s”, “John’s” and “Lombardi’s”. “Pop’s” in Brooklyn is closed but the other two in Manhattan still exist to this day. So Milone was a pioneer in an industry that now does more than $45 billion in sales and yet he’s buried in an unmarked grave in Queens all but forgotten. How this lost generation of bakers started in Italy and how they came to America, struggled to set up tiny pizzerias, only to be forgotten and then rediscovered, will be the subject of my upcoming book.

Pizza Seller in Naples, Italy c. 1911 [Source: “Saluti Da Napoli” postcard]

I’m posting my research notes online to find errors of fact, omission, or interpretation and correct them before my book is published. For the record, I’m not: a professional genealogist, fluent in Italian, an expert in Italian history, related in anyway to these pizzeria families, or in anyway associated with the pizzeria industry. I’m just a guy who’s interested in how things begin and how they end.

This blog will be continuously updated until the book is published in a few years. Please note family images are included on this blog with the permission of the families. They retain all rights to the use of their images.

Contact me with questions or comments. All posts were researched and written by Peter W. Regas Chicago, IL, USA. If you learn from my site and use it in your own work please credit this website as a source. All blog posts are copyright protected.

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