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Meet the Owner: Ted Apodiacos of Pete's Pizza

Restaurateur bought Bell Boulevard eatery in 2008 and soon plans to add new styles of pizza to the menu.

owner Ted Apodiacos said he is ready to mix it up. In the coming weeks, the 32-year-old Bayside eatery will add eight to 10 new types of pies to its menu.

For Apodiacos, attempting something different is nothing new.

In 1994, he owned his first restaurant - a deli - in Manhattan and then worked as the manager for Pete's before taking jobs in the corporate world, including an operations manager in J.P. Morgan's IT department.

In 2008, he decided to return to the restaurant business, purchasing Bell Boulevard staple Pete's, renovating its dining room and mixing up its menu.

"I wanted to run a much better operation with a higher quality of food and better ingredients," he said. "I've always kept abreast of the restaurant business and learning about food. I never went to cooking school because I didn't have time to do it."

Apodiacos hand-picked the items currently on Pete's menu, blending together Italian, Greek and American cuisine.

He said many of the eatery's recipes were made in his family's kitchen as he was growing up.

"Our family always cooks a lot and I've always liked to cook," he said. "I've been playing around with cooking since I was 14 years old. It always fascinated me."

Some of the family recipes he added to Pete's menu include spanakopita and moussaka.

"I like to fuse together different types of food," he said. "We make pizza that is partially Greek and partially Italian, but we'll sometimes fuse American with Italian. We like to come up with different creations and think outside the box more so than other restaurants."

Currently, Pete's offers 17 styles of pizza, including margherita, penne alla vodka, Hawaiian, taco pie, grilled chicken, veggie pie, BBQ chicken and buffalo chicken.

But the eatery will soon serve as many as eight new types, such as broccoli rabbi and pies with a variety of cheeses, including provolone and goat cheese.

"I want to offer something different to the neighborhood that nobody else is providing," he said.

Aside from pizza, Pete's most popular dishes include the chicken Francese, chicken marsala and experimental courses, such as margherita-style chicken or veal.

"One of our biggest successes is that we make our own recipe for buffalo wings," Apodiacos said. "It's been out of the ballpark. We've been selling wings like crazy. I can't imagine the amount of wings we sold during the last Super Bowl, especially for a pizzeria."

Pete's has long been a neighborhood institution and Apodiacos said the eatery still has a very loyal clientele. Some customers eat at the restaurant up to four times per week.

Pete's is also known for its long-time staffers, including Olga Ross, a waitress who just celebrated her 20th year at the restaurant.

"I have a lot of good customers," Ross said. "We're like a little extended family."
With the exception of one recent hire, all of Pete's staffers have worked at the eatery for at least a decade.

"We're very tight knit," Apodiacos said. "Our goal is to give the best we can to our customers and to make everything fresh."

Pete's, which is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, also offers take-out and delivery.

Its menu also includes soups, 11 styles of salad, calzones, Italian sausage, mozzarella sticks, chicken kabob, fried calamari, hero sandwiches, 15 types of wraps, burgers, gyros and souvlaki, falafel, shrimp, traditional pasta dishes and desserts, such as tiramisu, carrot cake, cheese cake and baklava.

For more information, call 718-428-9371 or visit Pete's website.

Dawn Andrew August 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Pete's is a must try. I love the pizza and salads and cannot wait to sample the new additions to the menu!!

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