Updated: Pyzano's Pizzeria Says Goodbye 21 Years Later

Owner Frank Gemignani announced on Thursday morning the restaurant that's been open for more than two decades will not be reopening.

Updated June 22 12:12 p.m.

After months of having its doors closed, announced that it will not reopen.

Owner Frank Gemignani sent Castro Valley Patch the following message Thursday afternoon:

I wanted to let you know that my efforts to re-open Pyzano's were unsuccessful. I would appreciate it if you could let the people of Castro Valley know that I will not be re-opening. I also would like to thank all of the loyal customers and employees that made the last 21 years of my life wonderful.

I love Castro Valley and I am very grateful to the community for all there positive support. Deciding not to re-open was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make. Only my love for Castro Valley, our customers and my staff kept me hanging on.

When I opened Pyzano's in 1991 I was a 22-year-old boy who had no idea what I was doing. Now 21 years later I'm a man, a husband and a father. Opening a business in Castro Valley was the best decision I have ever made!

I'm sorry that we had to close. I hope that someday I can be back in CV with another business so that I can be apart of the community I love so much. Until then I hope you all continue to support all the wonderful local business' that Castro Valley has to offer.

Thank you for 21 wonderful years!

In early March, the restaurant, located at 3835 E. Castro Valley Blvd. in the 580 Market Place Shopping Center,according to Gemignani. He had plans of reopening soon after, but weeks turned into months and the eatery remained closed.

Property management company Weingarten Realty posted [see photo attached] prior to Gemignani's official announcement of the restaurant's closure.

Weingarten Realty's Marketing Manager Carrie Murray said this is common practice by landlords "if the lease is coming up for renewal or if the tenant will vacate the space."

However, she did not release further detail regarding the Pyzano's status.

On Friday morning, the restuarant remained completely empty — kitchen equipment and furniture were nowhere to be found. The eatery's signage was removed and an eviction notice hung on the front door.

In late February, neighboring 580 Market Place restaurant in a similar way. told Patch his eviction was due to his inability to pay rent, especially when the economy took a turn for the worse. He was barely hanging on by a thread— paying more than $15,000 each month.

In March, he updated Patch saying .

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Nancy Pascale June 21, 2012 at 07:24 PM
No surprise, but what a disappointment...the pizza was excellent and we will really miss that wonderful place, a lot of memories and good times.
Gary Allsebrook June 21, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Bummer - their pizza's and salads were stellar. So plumbing problems or a greedy landlord?
JoonyaGee510 June 21, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Sounds more like a financial predicament to me and I doubt it's due to the rent.
Jeff Dickenson June 22, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Palomares Cafe, Bancheros (a favorite of mine), and now Pyzano's closing official. Hard to make a profit in restaurant business with this economy (supply costs up and people eating out dropping). Will miss hanging out w/ friens on SUN afternoons and other days we needed a quick bite before leaving for a movie or other weekend activity.
John Piekarczyk June 22, 2012 at 12:20 AM
My nephew Trevor worked there for a while, which introduced me to their stellar thin crust Pizza. I found myself driving past many established pizzerias to pick up from, or eat at Pizano's.
Nathan June 22, 2012 at 12:29 AM
JD's closed down too recently also a favorite for locals. What's next? We definitely do not need more fastfood eateries in castro valley.
Charles June 22, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Wasnt the old A&W later Capers purchased by the owner(s) of Pyzano's?
Shawn June 22, 2012 at 06:59 AM
Way too many local businesses are closing in Castro Valley due to the area's unfriendly business environment. Its not the people but the county government and all the taxes and fee's increasing to run a business. Economy has a little to due with it but not as much as people think. How come businesses in neighboring towns like Pleasanton, Dublin, etc are thriving? Because of the loal government's willingness to work with business owners and be business friendly. If we don't watch out, CV Blvd will soon look like East 14th with nothing but vacant lots and buildings. Pyzanos was probably a victim of greedy landlords and a business owner realizing he no longer wanted to put up with working so hard and barely making a living.
Tracie Cearley-Kinser June 22, 2012 at 03:31 PM
I read somewhere that they weren't allowed to put in a new pizza oven. Probably a wood burning one like their S.F. restaurant. They have a successful restaurant and school in S.F. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5Mtl4PqplY&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL2CA34DF874014A27
Rob Phillips June 22, 2012 at 04:37 PM
I'm from NJ, so I have a different metric when judging pizza. And while he used good ingredients it was typical west coast pizza with too much dough and too much cheese. Real pizza is a thin crusted tomato pie, sprinkled with a conservative amount of motzarella and maybe a little topping as a garnish. Its not an open faced doughy cheese sandwich with a splatter of dried tomato sauce and piled with lots of meat and vegetables. I liked Pyzano's because it was somewhere parents could bring the team after practice or have a birthday party and it wasn't fast food. This is a wonderful opportunity for someone to open an authentic Italian restaurant so we have an alternative to Rigatoni's and Dino's attempt at Italian cuisine.
Nancy Pascale June 22, 2012 at 05:34 PM
to answer Charles above....the property next to Rudys` was purchased by the same people that owned Pyzanos, but it just sat there and next we heard it was purchased by someone else and you can see some action at the site now......who knows what is going on?
Kathy Cormier June 22, 2012 at 06:24 PM
BUMMER! Pyzanos was the best pizza ! PeeWees is gone too. Now we have to go to SF for a good pizza. You could get great thin crust pizza at Pyzanos ! I don't care what anyone says!!
Analisa Harangozo (Editor) June 22, 2012 at 06:31 PM
That place is going to be a burger joint called Boulevard Buger #2, hopefully opening soon: http://castrovalley.patch.com/articles/1950-s-style-diner-to-open-on-the-boulevard
David Ross June 23, 2012 at 04:09 PM
This is what happens when an area is governed by people that really don't care about Castro Valley. I'm talking about the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. I truly believe that if we had local government (i.e. a city council), it would be better for us than having some nincompoops in Oakland telling us what we can and cannot do.
David Ross June 23, 2012 at 04:19 PM
The "west coast pizza" is great - it's crust isn't so thin as to be almost non-existent (New York style) nor is it so thick that it's like eating bread (Chicago style). Pyzano's made great pizza. It was always a treat to go there.
Gale Rhoades June 27, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I discovered Pyzzano's shortly after moving to CV in 2007. I loved it. Guess I have to go to San Francisco for my dose of great pizza. I can't speak to the issue of greedy landlord but I can defend Tony's choice to step out onto a much bigger stage than he could reach in Castro Valley. I bet he looks back on the days at Pyzanos as light duty. Have you seen what he is doing in San Francisco and Sacramento???? Only a very jealous individual would denigrate Tony's decision to move on.
Rick June 28, 2012 at 12:47 AM
I liked Pyzano's, great local placed, but I would love a real east coast type pizza place in Castro Valley. I know of only one in California (after 29 years of living here from Jersey), Arinell's in Berkeley. All others that claim to have NY style pizza don't. Visit at lunch mid week and revel in the NYC and Jersey accents! Not the real Ray's on 7th in Manhattan, but still solid.
simon labianca June 30, 2012 at 08:46 AM
Well, I drove for tony and frank for a while, its of no shock to me that pyzanos is done. Frank hasn't gave a shit long before tony left. Tony got in bed with the right people when he opened his new restaurants. Tony never managed a god damn thing. Only put his cheesy rubber face grin after he powdered his nose ( any one who grew up in CV in the 90's or 00's knows what a tweak tony is.
Gary Allsebrook July 04, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I hate to say this but most of the fast food restaurants in CV are better than the independents (I include El Chipolte in the fast food list). We have looked long and hard to find edible food in CV and it's very challenging. I don't know how many of them stay in business. You don't have to go to SF for pizza - they have some pretty decent pizzerias in Berkeley. But if you're in NB try Golden Boy near Grant & Green for a slice. Cheap & delicious.
Jim M July 11, 2012 at 01:22 AM
I can understand why people complain about the restaurants in CV. I think two things need to happen. First, people need to complain about the food. I have been served stale chips at one place and salad dressing that was over the top in vinegar at another. Other times I ate there and it was okay. Many local restaurants need repeatability in their dishes. Second, the Patch needs a restaurant reviewer. Several cities could combine together since there are not that many restaurants. A few good and bad reviews should get the ball to food bliss rolling!
Gary Allsebrook July 11, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Believe me I am not shy about sending food back or complaining about it and conversely encouraging servers and managers when they do a good job. But once I've had a bad meal that's it - I'm not spending my money there again. Consistency is key alright. We also need more restaurants geared to people under 85. It never ceases to amaze me that we have such ethnic diversity in this area yet you can't find a decent Chinese or Mexican restaurant. It's hard to find a decent steak in this town (unless you go go Al's and cook it yourself). I would love to name names here but you know who you are...
V H July 12, 2012 at 07:44 PM
V H July 12, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Pyzano's PIZZA was OVERRATED and expensive! Tony made so much MONEY with his 15 minutes of FAME and later threw the business/bother/customers under the bus!
Joe t August 14, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Castro valley sucks now. There are NO good restaurants here. They say "keep your business in CV". BS. THIS HAS TURNED INOT ANOTHER LOWLIFE TOWN!!!!!!!
David Ross August 14, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Two words: Norman's Grill. The food isn't fancy but it is very good! The service is fantastic. Another word: Chipotle. Yes, it is a chain but they have great burritos and good service.
Kern and Olga Lewis September 07, 2012 at 09:08 PM
I must echo Mr. Ross here. Our problem is not too much government. It is the kind of government we have in the unincorporated area. Plus, the citizens of Castro Valley chose in 2000 to stay unincorporated, which leads to lower taxes, but also lower planning and services (a point not properly discussed in that election!) This "town" truly has gotten what it pays for in community planning. That is, very little. You see the results in the uncoordinated way development does or does not happen here: The boulevard reconstruction is exhibit A on this point. The concept was great, and may turn out well, but the proper management by county-level officials has been lacking. (I admit the economic crisis played a big role in this, but if local pols were running this job, the results would have been better.)


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