Franklin Square native Anthony Bruno founded Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza in 2002 and on Wednesday returned near his hometown to help celebrate the opening of his pizzeria chain's 36th location in Wantagh.
Bruno, who since 1980 has lived in South Florida, said he has high hopes for his restaurant's newest spot on 3430 Sunrise Highway in Wantagh.
"It is a great location visibility wise," said Bruno of the new Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza that opened last month in the Wantagh Town Plaza where Nassau OTB used to sit on the corner of Sunrise Highway and Seaford Avenue. "The surrounding neighborhood is perfect for us."
Bruno, a Carey High School graduate, decided to use Wednesday's grand opening event in Wantagh as a way for Anthony's to give back to his native Long Island. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based pizzeria chain donated 100 percent of its Feb. 6 sales in Wantagh location to Mineola-based Island Harvest's local Hurricane Sandy relief effort. Island Harvest is Long Island's largest hunger relief organization.
"I'm in touch with a lot of people here on Long Island who were hard hit by Sandy," said Bruno of why he decided to give back to the area he was raised in. "I like that Island Harvest is a local charity that does great work."
In addition to cooking pizzas in an 800-degree oven that provides a "well-done flavor, Anthony's also offers coal-over roasted chicken wings.
Anthony’s also has locations in Carle Place and Woodbury on Long Island with plans to open new eateries in Commack, Greenvale, Great Neck and Bohemia.