Behind the Scenes

Francesca
Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta

Twelve years ago, Salvatore Reina—owner of Francesca Brick Oven Pizza and Pasta—made a life-changing decision, and it paid off.

Owner of Francesca's, Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta, Salvatore Reina, stands behind the "pizza wings" mural outside of his restaurant.

Owner of Francesca's, Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta, Salvatore Reina, stands behind the "pizza wings" mural outside of his restaurant.

At 26-years-old, Sal dreaded his “normal” desk job at a company, in which he couldn’t wait to get off work to go help out at a restaurant that he worked at on his weekends.

Sal awaits for a pizza to be ready out of Francesca's brick oven. Sal notes that one of the most special things about his restaurant is that they serve brick oven pizza by the slice, which is pretty uncommon.

Sal awaits for a pizza to be ready out of Francesca's brick oven. Sal notes that one of the most special things about his restaurant is that they serve brick oven pizza by the slice, which is pretty uncommon.

 But then a blessing in disguise came Sal’s way when he did not get a promotion that he was promised at work.

One of the first pizzas to be served of the day being cooked in the oven.

One of the first pizzas to be served of the day being cooked in the oven.

Infuriated, Reina decided to quit and start a career in the restaurant business. Sal opened Francesca Brick Oven Pizza and Pasta on April 10, 2008.

The dough station at Francesca's, which marks the beginning of every pizza.

The dough station at Francesca's, which marks the beginning of every pizza.

“I took out my whole savings for four or five years, and I was 26. I opened up the space. It was crazy, like scary and exciting and fun and nerve-wracking and turned out to be worth it,” Reina said.

Hyro, a Francesca's employee, working at the toppings station. One thing Francesca's is well-known for our their unique specialty slices.

Hyro, a Francesca's employee, working at the toppings station. One thing Francesca's is well-known for our their unique specialty slices.

 For the past 12 years, Francesca’s has become a staple pizzeria to the Glen Rock community.

One of the perks of owning a restaurant... free food! Sal says that if a certain slice(s) is not cooked correctly enough to be served to customers, he or his staff will often enjoy eating these slices.

One of the perks of owning a restaurant... free food! Sal says that if a certain slice(s) is not cooked correctly enough to be served to customers, he or his staff will often enjoy eating these slices.

He’s made so many memories with his staff and customers over the years, as he’s watched them grow through their numerous trips to the shop.

Glen Rock manager, Jeff, cuts a pie.

Glen Rock manager, Jeff, cuts a pie.

Sal recalls many high school students, even graduates, that have been coming to the restaurant since they were little kids, and some have even turned out to become employees.

Francesca's goes well beyond making pizza. A Francesca's employee pictured in the process of making garlic knots.

Francesca's goes well beyond making pizza. A Francesca's employee pictured in the process of making garlic knots.

Francesca’s has expanded to a second restaurant in Elmwood Park, and Sal is considering opening a third location.

Sal values the great memories he's shared with his customers and employees over the years. He's captured many of these moments through these pictures he's taped on the wall, but he eventually ran out of room!

Sal values the great memories he's shared with his customers and employees over the years. He's captured many of these moments through these pictures he's taped on the wall, but he eventually ran out of room!