After more than half a century in business, a popular pizzeria in the Northeast San Fernando Valley is closing up shop.
Casa de Pizza, located on the corner of San Fernando Mission Boulevard and Woodley Avenue in Granada Hills, is still taking orders and keeping the ovens hot for now. However, when the new year rolls around, the Italian restaurant will no longer be taking any more orders. The restaurant will be closing this Saturday, Dec. 31, ending a 61-year run.
When it first opened in 1961, the restaurant was a lot smaller than it once was, lacking a dining room. It only relied on take-out orders, but it eventually converted its storage area into a dining area.
Casa de Pizza made itself unique by displaying photos and memorabilia of Frank Sinatra, including some that were autographed. The singer even came to visit once, giving the owners permission to officially name their dining room “The Sinatra Room.”
However, like all restaurants, Casa de Pizza had to restrict indoor dining when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Since 2020, the restaurant had to go back to relying on take-out orders to sustain itself, no longer able to rely on revenue from large parties wanting to sit in.
With a lack of employees to work at the restaurant even though he’s been in business for decades, the owner decided it was time to close for good.
Small businesses like Casa de Pizza were hit hardest during the pandemic. In a 2021 World Economic Forum report it was reported that between January 2020 and April 2021, 34 percent of small businesses were closed nationwide. Many have been challenged not only to recoup in-person business but to find the right people who are willing to work.
Sally Ancewicz is one of many long time customers who came in this week.
“My husband and I have been coming here for 50 years,” Ancewicz said. “We had our 50th anniversary party here.”
Ancewicz remembers Casa de Pizza’s early days before they had a dining room. She said her family used to come once a week, particularly on Thursdays for “music night.” She first heard about the restaurant’s impending closure from her daughter. The news of an old family spot shutting down had her feeling a bit downhearted as she walked away from the restaurant with a pizza in hand, perhaps for the last time.
“I’m very sad [about the closure]. I might go home and cry,” she said.
Wow! We moved into our Granada Hills home in 1993. Casa de Pizza was the first place that we patronized here, in Granada Hills. We even bought our movers Casa. So sad to see it close.
My family moved to Granada Hills in 1975. We have been patrons of Casa de Pizza from day one. Mike, Phyllis,Vito and the entire staff were the best and their pizza is the greatest. This is so sad on every level.
Our family moved to Granada Hills in 1975, and have patronized Casa de Pizza ever since. Mike, Phyllis, Vito and the entire staff were great. The best pizza hands down. This is so sad on every level.
Wow! No more great pizza places on this side of the Valley. Really sad. After Arri’s pizza closed years ago, we’d get our pizza fix here. This is very sad. I wish the owners very much happiness in the New Years! Shakey’s and Domino’s don’t cut it. Now what?
So sad. born and raised in the valley we have been going to Casa de Pizza for ever. We eventually moved out of Commifornia and I can see why they are closing. Cali is going to hell in a handbag. Crime, drugs, homelessness has taken over. Very sad
When Casa de Pizza first opened in Granada hills, I was a young girl and lived a short distance from them on Tulsa St. The night air surrounding streets close to Casa de Pizza’s cooking regularly enticed my parents to get us one of their fabulous Pizzas weekly, lol. It was the best, a delight to the family. Since 1962 I have enjoyed it and have introduced my family, my grandkids, and visiting great-grandkids. I watched the Goivannelli family founders and long-time employees pass away; Vito Goivannelli, their son, and his family continued serving the entire community and bringing joy, good food, and in the last year of business, live Thursday night entertainment. The pandemic closed the Sinatra doors, and sadly, Casa de Pizza could never fully recover and tried to recover with takeout only. One little bit of trivia Frank Sinatra personally visited Casa de Pizza to give “permission” to dub Casa de Pizza’s dining room “The Sinatra Room” he was very impressed! The entire interior was a fabulous collection of Sinatra memorabilia and Sinatra songs played daily. Sadly, my whole family will say goodbye to the pillar of Granada Hills. Thank you for the memories ❤️
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