Tony Pasquini decided to downsize his LoHi pizza joint in 2022, but two weeks after opening his new location, he’s busier than ever.
Pasquini’s restaurant, Tony P’s, is a longtime staple in the neighborhood, having opened in 2007. He closed the original location and moved two blocks down south to 3000 Zuni St. to focus on carry out.
“It’s a smaller place, and I thought it was going to be a little more manageable, but we’ve been busy,” Pasquini said.
Tony P’s old location at the corner of 32nd and Zuni is being converted to a Japanese restaurant by restaurateur Juan Padro.
Since moving, Pasquini has increased his staff by 10, with 25 employees and counting, to manage the demand.
Pasquini first got into the restaurant business with his mother, Judy, in 1986. Afterwards, he went to a San Francisco pastry school and opened Pasquini’s Bakery in 1994 before establishing Tony P’s.
He said this new place is an opportunity to return to his roots, expand the menu and offer fresh pastries, breads and desserts.
“It’s kind of reinvigorated me a little bit. I’d been a little stagnant creatively, culinary wise,” Pasquini said.
The 1,800 square-foot space comes with a larger kitchen, allowing Pasquini to add a wood-burning oven, to make Neapolitan-style pizza, and Polin steam-injected ovens for fresh bread.
He’s also expanded hours, opening at 7 a.m. with Italian roast coffee and ending the night at 11 p.m. Not only are the hours longer and the menu more extensive, but, according to Pasquini, the ingredients are better. He now imports fresh mozzarella and olive oil from his family in Italy.
Although smaller, the new spot still allows customers to dine in, with about eight two-seat wooden tables, a full bar, a mini high top that opens to the outside and patio seating. The old spot on 32nd Street sat roughly 75 people. The restaurant takes orders through third-party delivery services, but also has its own delivery drivers for those who call in an order or use the restaurant’s website.
After 16 years in LoHi, Pasquini said the neighborhood has “as much potential as any of the great places, in any of the great cities.” He said he’ll run Tony P’s for as long as he can, but doesn’t think he’ll ever open another location.
“I’m the luckiest person in the world,” Pasquini said. “I get to take everything I’ve learned my whole career, and put it all in one place on steroids.”