The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Money

November 15, 2009

A revival of the Glory Days with Calacino’s re-opening

It’s a resurgence of the past and the grand reopening of an iconic Beckley pizzeria.

Calacino’s has returned, under new ownership.

Founded in 1930, Calacino’s was the area’s first pizzeria and a popular roadhouse hang-out for young people.

It was famous not only for its pizza, but also for its owner, Dominick “Dom” Calacino.

“Dom Calacino and his family, they were just great people,” recalled Pete Torrico of BJW Printing and a friend of the late Calacino. “Even ’til he couldn’t work no more, he still fixed the best pizza this town’s ever had.

“Usually, he fixed whatever he wanted to fix,” Torrico added. “It didn’t make any difference what you told him to put on it. He put what he wanted on it.”

Calacino liked kids as long as they were well behaved and reprimanded them himself if they weren’t. His birthday was 10-10-10, and his cash register went only to $9.99, according to Torrico.

“He always made homemade wine,” Torrico said. “He would either give you a little bit or sell you a gallon of it.

“On special occasions, he’d get out a bottle of his homemade wine and pour you just a little glass,” he recalled. “He was more special than the place.

“He was a character.”

New owners Jerry Zaferatos and King Minter say they hope to spark a little of the original fire that Dom Calacino burned at the pizzeria until shortly before his death on Jan. 20, 2000.

“That was our theme — to try to just bring it all back,” Zaferatos said. “It’s still Calacino’s.

“We’re carrying on the tradition.”

Zaferatos said the reopening of Calacino’s turned into a community project very quickly because many people remembered dancing or meeting up with friends there.

“It was just a hang-out for people from the 1930s all the way up to the 1990s when Mr. Calacino died,” he said. “It was a landmark for people to come to enjoy themselves and have good pizza and good dancing.”

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