NORTH ARLINGTON, N.J.– The HBO hit show "The Sopranos" went off the air in 2007, but its northern New Jersey opening credits still live on in varying capacities, especially for North Arlington's Pizza Land on the Belleville Pike.
The owners have changed hands several times, and even closed for a bit after pizza maker and Pizza Land co-owner Aloysius C. ‘Al’ Pawlowicz, died of a heart attack in October 2010.
But the famed two-table pizzeria, known best for thin-crust bar-sized pies, has been in business since the '60s, so it's no surprise the doors didn't stay closed for long.
The present owner, Eddie Twdroos, bought the shop in May 2012. He's hard to catch for an interview, as he's rarely onsite these days.
Employee "Luberto" said on Saturday the owner is "still in Egypt," and he himself is not qualified to answer questions about the business. He did confirm business related to the Sopranos is "up and down..." but "good."
When James Gandolfini died in 2013, fans flocked to Pizza Land, leaving memorials, and expressing their grief.
The Soprano's opening credits live on with "Bada Bing" AKA Satin Dolls, in Hasbrouck Heights, and "Holsten's" ice cream parlor in Bloomfield, where the last episode was shot. Then there is the Soprano home in Caldwell and the Pulaski Skyway, now under construction. Satriale's, the pork store in Kearny, was a prop, and the warehouse there has since been torn down. But Kearny's Skyway Diner, where Christopher was riddled with bullets, remains a favorite hotspot.
The Sopranos and New Jersey are practically a slogan. Just like "Soprano Sue" Sadik, who made a side-living for years running bus tours stopping by such sites as Pizza Land.
Such tours still exist, and Pizza Land is frequently a drive-by or a stop.
Pizza Land was originally owned by Fred DiPiazza, the son of Italian immigrants of Sicilian descent. Fred’s son, Sal DiPiazza, says Pizza Land first opened in 1965.
Click here for more information about Pizza Land or call (201) 998-2500.
Pizza Land is located at 260 Belleville Tpke., North Arlington.
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