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The Barstool Fund - Phil's Pizzeria

Up next: Phil's Pizzeria (Syosset, NY)

The local favorite has more than doubled in size since opening in 1987. In addition, in 2006 they expanded Phil's Pizzeria & Restaurant into Syosset, NY as they found our customers traveling great distances to get a taste of their delectable Italian dishes.

Dear Barstool,

I am writing you in response to your generous outreach for all of us restaurant owners struggling during this epidemic.

My name is Anthony Laurino, I am the owner of Phil’s Pizza and Restaurant located at 265 Jericho Turnpike, Syosset, NY 11791. I opened this restaurant in 2006. My wife and I, took all our life’s saving and put it into this business. We had nothing left in our bank account when I opened the doors and took my first order. It’s our family business. I have dedicated, endless days and nights to this business. I missed every single milestone that my 4 boys experienced. I saw my all my children’s, first walks through a video and face-time. I know I am not the only one who has dealt with that. Being an owner, comes with a lot of personal sacrifice. 

Every day I make pizza, I try to make people happy, I feed people. I fulfill an essential need for other humans. I am proud of it. But as all business owners, it comes with having to deal with bills, with staff, with customers who are unable to be pleased in any way. In days before the epidemic anyone who owned their own business, lost sleep, worrying how they were going to pay their bills, how they needed to balance their business and personal life. 

Now, it’s not a matter of losing sleep, it’s a matter of life or death. I did everything and anything I could to keep all my employees during this epidemic. I changed from being an 80 person max restaurant, to not allowing one person through the front door and only taking curb side orders. But, I kept every single waiter, kitchen staff and pizza man. Anyone I lost, was due their own choosing. Anyone who left, resigned because they feared being in public and subject to catching Covid, it didn’t help that NYS increased the unemployment payments. 

I kept the operations open. I made waiters delivery people. I still paid them on a weekly basis, covered their insurance, and kept them living. I felt it was my job… I had the lives of my employees on my shoulders, if I let them go, I would destroy their families and I couldn’t do it. We gave them food every night to take home, to give to the poor, to give to their families… I don’t regret a single part of it…
But I suffered… The landlord still wanted the entire payment monthly. Everything changed overnight.  Customers flow slowed down… Yet I still had to cover the produce, meat, grocery orders, payroll taxes and rent.

I have given all my saving to keeping these doors open and the rent is just too high to cover my costs. 

From one pizza lover to another…. I am asking and I need your help.

With sincere gratitude and the utmost respect,

Anthony P. Laurino, Owner