NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–Just looking at New Haven pizza can make even the most famous stomachs rumble.
Gary Bimonte, co-owner of Pepe’s, says he’s personally met about 40-50 celebrities.
Bimonte says they’ve had presidential visits, like Former Presidents Ronald Regan and Bill Clinton. He had a memorable moment with the late actor and Oscar award winning Robin Williams.
“So I open up the back door, and he looked around the corner and he goes,’Is it alright to come in?’, you know joking around. I said, ‘come on in, Robin.”
Lou Abate says President Clinton helped launch them. He opened in 1992, and says Clinton’s visit spurred business.
“As soon as the president got here, people were asking me, ‘Where did the president sit?’ And I said, ‘Right where you’re sitting,'” Abate said.More Italian in Connecticut:
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Down the street at Sally’s, they can claim dozens of celebrity customers, including politicians like former Secretary of State and now Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Singer Paul Simon also paid a visit, as did Frank Sinatra, who never made it in, but would often send a limo.
“My uncle Tony used to come from New York where they’d send a limo from New York to pick them up,” said Sally’s Bob Consiglio.
State Street’s Modern has had several celebrity sightings. But owner William Pustari says Oscar Award winning director Steven Spielberg stood out. He came several times while his son attended Yale University.
“He never said who he was, stood in line, never asked for anything special. People approached him for autographs, and he was 100% fine about it,” Pustari said.
He left a pizza box as a reminder, writing “Pizza Heaven!!”
A big compliment from a big name in Hollywood.