Beloved Yonkers pizzeria owner retiring, but honorary nephew will keep Raceway Pizza open
A longtime Yonkers pizzeria owner is retiring, meaning a change in ownership for the much beloved Raceway Pizza.
Owner Luigi Petrozza says it's time to let go and do what he has to, even though it will be sad because he has memories of working there with his parents.
His family opened the restaurant 52 years ago.
Petrozza opened Raceway at 17, when he had just started college to be an engineer.
"I said, 'Ma, let's take a chance,' and in the meantime, I was going back and forth to classes," Petrozza recalls.
About a year later, business had grown so much that he became a different type of engineer.
"I engineer in pizza then," he says.
But then, he got sick in February with walking pneumonia.
"My doctor prescribed I stay away from flour," Petrozza says. He has baker's lung from inhaling flour since he was 13.
"That made up my mind."
So many people worried Raceway was gone forever. But hearts are healing up because Louie's honorary nephew, Vin Prelkuva, is taking over the business.
"I've known him as a kid. He used to come here with his parents," Petrozza says.
"This is the mecca of pizza shops in New York. It's an honor. It's one of my lifelong dreams," Prelkuva says.
Prelkuva adds that he will not make a lot of changes. He said loyal customers can expect the same recipes and decor.
"I want to take his energy and just continue, maintain," he says.
Petrozza is off to take care of his grandkids and maybe play golf a bit and have fun.
Prelkuva says the place will close for a few weeks to clean up and get changed over. He says he'll probably open mid-June or July.