SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Brunetti’s Pizza has been closed since July, when the pandemic drove the restaurant’s owners out of business, but a new owner is planning to give the building new life.
Meet Jim Mayer. Mayer was born and raised in Scranton and has memories of Brunetti’s. He says he was sad to hear of its closing.
“It broke my heart because I know that the family had been in business for like 60 years. And, like I said, I would come here when I was a child. And it’s always bad – for me being in the restaurant business, this pandemic has been pretty terrible for everybody,” Mayer said.
When he heard of the closing, Mayer decided to move with his family, back to his hometown and start a new restaurant. He says the menu will be similar to Brunetti’s.
“We’re going to continue to do almost the same idea. We’re going to do pizza, subs, and takeaway dinners. You know with the pandemic going on right now it’s a little bit more difficult to be a standard restaurant. So we want to kind of capitalize on takeaway foods and let people enjoy their good quality food at their home,” Mayer said.
The restaurant’s name will be Dutchie’s.
“So we’re doing it to honor my father. He was formerly a deputy fire chief in the city and he had a place of his own when we were younger so we’re going to just give a little nod to him by calling it Dutchie’s,” Mayer said.
Mayer says opening the restaurant during a pandemic is nerve-wracking.
“Yes it’s difficult. You know every day when you hear of how many people are sick and then you worry about it like it’s going to get worse or are we going to turn the corner and we’re gonna start getting better in our whole situation,” Mayer said.
He says the key is to keep a positive outlook. Mayer hopes to have Dutchie’s open by mid-January.