A Slice of Personality
by Zander Varney
Utica is home to many one of a kind experiences, but one of the most memorable ones is this little pizza shop on Genesee Street. Palermo Pizzeria is a restaurant that has become a staple in the lives of many of my fellow PrattMWP students, and in the lives of many Uticans. From grabbing a bite to eat before classes or studio time, to 2:00am snack runs, the food at Palermo’s is something nobody will forget about Utica. This along with the one of a kind stories and experiences had at Palermo’s, makes it something truly amazing.
Palermo’s isn’t just rich in taste, it also has a rich history. According to co-owner Tony Randazzo, his father worked in a pizza shop called Capri Pizzeria, which he then would go to open another location on Genesee street in 1971 in honor of Capri Pizzeria. The father along with his two sons, Tony and Patrick, would later go to open the Palermo’s location that we have come to love. The Palermo’s Pizzeria location opened in 1992 and was run simultaneously alongside the Capri Pizzeria that the family owned and ran for a solid 6 years. This puts Palermo’s at 27 years old, and the family’s pizza businesses at a whopping 47 years on Genesee alone! With the current location’s building originally being a furniture shop in the early 1950s, the building has seen its fair share of change, even if the Palermo name that we know and love has only been around since the early 1990s. They even saw the conception and completion of the Oneida Square traffic circle on Genesee street in 2010.Every trip to Palermo’s is something unique, the inviting atmosphere, the one of a kind employees, and the stories you couldn’t get anywhere else. A trip to Palermo’s could bring you face to face with people running for councilman, a wide cast of interesting Utican citizens such as the “Kite Guy” who has been seen setting up just a few feet away in the Oneida Square area. According to Tony, this is one of the best parts of the job, seeing the wide array of customers, from all ages, professions, and walks of life. I will never forget the time that I went in for the first time and talked with one of the employees while my food was being made as if we were long time friends. This aspect of feeling like the employees are your friends, mixed with the warm comfortable atmosphere, draws me to go back time and again.
“Palermo’s is something bigger than the food, it’s the experience”
– PrattMWP Student
When asked what makes Palermo’s Unique, co-owner Tony said that it was their availability. This aspect of their business truly is great; they are open every day of the week until at least 2:00am, they deliver all across the city, they even take orders online or from their app.
Palermo’s has seen a ton of history in its day, and every visit is like none before. The restaurant acts as a sort of epicenter, bringing people together who may have nothing in common other than the love of a hot and tasty meal. This is something that draws many back for another meal, which is truly something to be proud of.