RIDGWAY — The end of 2018 marked the end of an era in Ridgway.
After 30 years of operation within the same family, Dominic Patalano – owner of Patalano’s Place II, formerly Johnny’s, formerly Original Italian Pizza, always known locally as OIP’s – closed the doors.
In a Facebook post Monday evening, which he opened as always with the line “Meanwhile, back at the pizza chop,” Patalano formally bid the business farewell.
“The dishes are all washed and put away. The tables are wiped clean. The coolers are all empty and disconnected. Coke picked up their coolers sometime last week,” the post reads in part. “The silence is deafening.
“Every wall, every booth, every table with chairs are all ‘talking to one another sharing their respective ‘stories’ ... that took place these last 11 years, 7 months and 28 days.”
That period marks the time between Patalano taking over the business on May 1, 2007, and the day the restaurant officially closed for business prior to the New Year.
While the business switched hands in 2000, it remained in the family’s hands from the time his parents opened in 1988.
Patalano thanked his customers and former employees in the post.
“I want to thank Elk County, especially Ridgway, for supporting Patalano’s Place II,” he said. “While supporting the pizza shop, you also, in turn, supported my employees and my families. You helped make a car payment for an aspiring student. You helped keep the lights on and kept the oven cooking, and thus kept the door open. I thank you for the years, 11 years of them plus 7 months and 28 days, of food service that you allowed me to provide.”
Patalano first publicly announced he was leaving the business in a post on Nov. 4, 2018.