WRIGHTSTOWN >> A Northeast Philadelphia pizza institution has arrived in Bucks County. And local Italian pie lovers are singing its praises.
On June 11, Heather and Ed Murray officially opened Vince’s Pizzeria and Taproom at the former site of Adriana’s of Little Italy on Route 413 in Wrightstown. And they’ve brought with them the family’s pizza recipe from Grant Avenue.
The first piping hot pizzas came out of the oven on June 9 during a private gathering for family and friends and immediately garnered a thumbs up from Ed’s parents, Ed and Mary Ann, and the other owners of Grant Avenue’s Vince’s Pizzeria, which is widely regarded as serving one of the best pizzas in Philadelphia.
For more than 70 years, the family has been making pizza in Philadelphia, beginning in 1946 when Ed’s grandparents sold pizza on cardboard and wrapped in brown paper at their rowhouse near Temple University Hospital.
His grandparents, along with her sister and her husband, subsequently opened Charlie’s Pizzeria at 4300 Roosevelt Blvd. And in 1988, Ed’s parents, his two aunts and an uncle opened Vince’s Pizzeria on Grant Avenue just east of the Boulevard.
Ed started working at Vince’s when he was 10 and continued up until his early 30s, picking up hours during breaks from college and working there part-time after college.
Ed now works in IT sales, but with pizza coursing through his family tree it didn’t take long for he and his wife to make the decision to open their own Pizzeria.
“I’ve been looking for the right location for a long time,” said Ed.
At first they considered the Jersey shore, but high rents and a short season sent them in a new direction that eventually led them to Adriana’s.
“We literally called them on the phone and asked if they were interested in selling the business,” said Heather. “When he said he would entertain it, we were so excited. From our perspective, it was the perfect site. This is where we planted our roots and are raising our children and I want nothing more than for my kids to experience what my husband did growing up.”
Since purchasing the business and its liquor license earlier this year, they have been busy renovating the space into their new eatery and taproom where the Vince’s Pizzeria motto, “Just Pizza. Just the Best” will find a second home.
“We’re excited,” said Heather. “The last few weeks have been crazy. There have been a lot of late nights. But the hard part is over, just getting this place transformed. For me, now the fun stuff begins,” she said.
Heather, a mother of four young children, recently left her job to devote her attention to Vince’s and making sure the standard lives up to the Grant Avenue reputation.
“First and foremost our goal is to remain true to who we are,” said Heather. “We’re not reinventing the wheel here. Our family has been serving this product for 70 plus years. Every pie we put out I want to make sure it’s right where it should be. We’re using the same ingredients. The dough is the same. We want to make sure that every single pie meets Vince’s standards.”
The new Pizzeria also features a first in Bucks County - a self-serve Beer Wall featuring 15 craft brews on tap, four wines (two reds and two whites) and a cider option. The beer selections will rotate every two weeks offering customers a variety of choices.
But Heather is quick to point out that Vince’s should not be misconceived as a taproom or a bar. “It is not,” she said. “First and foremost we are a restaurant with an added bonus of having some good brew,” she said.
Her message to the public comes in the form of an open invitation.
“Come in and give us a try,” she said. “We’re really confident that once they come in and try the product they’ll come back for more. Just take the time and give us a try.”
Pizza is served piping hot by the pie. Selections include: Vince's signature classic pie, PAG (thin white pizza with very thin slices of pear, shredded mozzarella, gorgonzola crumbles, fresh arugula and white truffle oil), The Steak and Hot (a classic pie with Philly cheesesteak and banana peppers), The Pig (San Marzano tomatoes with spicy pepperoni and sausage), Pizza Your Way, Sausage and Honey, Fungi, Florentino and Stromboli.
Heather has also added three salads to the menu (Caesar, House and Greek). “I enjoy a nice salad with my pizza so I think that’s a nice touch,” she said.
So what do the customers have to say?
District Judge Mick Petrucci, who was on hand to welcome the new business and knows his Italian pies, called the pizza “fantastic.
“I love the fact that it’s thin crust, it’s crispy, the sauce has a tang and you can taste the freshness,” said Petrucci. “I’m telling you, this is going to be a hit. And it’s good they have outdoor seating because they’re going to need the overflow.
“Newtown is very fortunate. We do have a lot of good pizza shops. This is ranking to the top of that list,” he said. “What I like about Newtown is that it’s got different styles and different kinds of pizzas. Some are thicker than others. Some have much more chunkier tomato. Some are Napolitano style. This is authentic. You don’t get much more Italian than this. The sauce is delicious. It’s got a nice tang to it.”
Bill Sheffer, the president of the Newtown Business Association, agrees. “It’s excellent,” he said of the pizza. “They have a real good location here. It’s a great addition. And I love the decor and what they’ve done here. I think they’ll do very well.”
Vince’s Pizzeria and Taproom is located at 573 Durham Road in Newtown 18940 (Wrightstown). Hours are Sunday to Thursday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 to 11. p.m. For information, call 267-491-5418 or visit vincespizzeriaandtaproom.com