Pizza pioneers to open in Bremerton

"Filippi's, a well-known name in the pizza making business, is opening a restaurant in downtown Bremerton.Vince and Bobbie DePhilippis hope to open Filippi's Pizza Grotto sometime in June. They're hard at work remodeling the former Backside Pub and Eatery at 315 Pacific Ave.The couple previously operated a Filippi's near the corner of Mickelberry and Bucklin Hill roads in Silverdale for 13 months before closing because of location problems and rent increases.My grandparents started the business in San Diego in 1949, said Vince DePhilippis. They came from New York, and before that, of course, from Italy.He said there are 13 family-owned Filippi's Pizza Grottos in the greater San Diego area.His parents later moved to the Northwest and opened a branch on Burwell Street in Bremerton in 1959. Eventually, the restaurant relocated to Kitsap Way, and was bought out by new owners.Vince DePhilippis, born in Bremerton in 1960, was raised in the pizza business. He worked for his dad both here, and later, in San Diego. Eventually, though, he went into a different line of work - truck driving.But after about a decade on the road, he returned to the family business - first in Silverdale and now in Bremerton, near where the first Filippi's was established 42 years ago. The couple have ripped out old carpets, built a new wall, and installed a walk-in refrigerator at the new Pacific Avenue location. They're picking out new carpet, deciding on paint colors, and drawing up plans to rearrange the Backstreet's kitchen to make room for oversized pizza ovens.There will be booths, tables and chairs, a small banquet room, and a beer and wine bar. Soda pop will be available. DePhilippis said the establishment will be a family-oriented, sit-down, non-smoking restaurant.They hope to break an unwritten downtown Bremerton rule by which virtually every business, restaurants included, closes at 5 p.m. Although it's still tentative, Filippi's hours will likely be 11 a.m.-9 p .m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. weekends, according to Bobbie DePhilippis.The couple have formed a corporation with Susann Deane, a silent partner, to open the restaurant, Bobbie said. They are being assisted in the renovation by friends, and their two children, 9-year-old Vince, 9 and 10-year-old Lindsey.The menu will feature special sauces and recipes developed by the DePhilippis family during its 60 years of culinary experience, Bobbie said. "

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