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Tacconelli’s opens its second N.J. pizzeria, in Haddon Township

Sixteen months after purchasing a former menswear store on Haddon Avenue in the Westmont neighborhood of Haddon Township, Vince Tacconelli Sr. and his son Vince Tacconelli Jr. have fired up the ovens at their second South Jersey pizza joint.

Tacconelli’s opens February 4th at N. Haddon Ave. 146 and joins a crowded patchwork of pizzerias that stretches along the Avenue’s business district from Collingswood to Haddonfield.

Working side-by-side at the Maple Shade, the Tacconellis have built a decent business with a menu that includes some pastas, a few salads, homemade gelato and other desserts, and espresso. Like Maple Shade, this location is cash-only.

The South Jersey locations are unrelated to the original Tacconelli’s on Richmond Street in Philadelphia’s Port Richmond neighborhood, run by Vince Sr.’s brother and family. (Their affiliation had been the subject of a now-settled federal court case over the trademark of the “Tacconelli’s Pizzeria” name.)

Vince Jr., 30, runs the Westmont site with his wife Jessica, also 30, an accountant. “It’s all his,” Vince Sr. said the other day as he wrapped a white pepper and anchovy pizza to take home for his wife, Doris, while he let his son work.

The new Tacconelli’s has three ovens in its huge open kitchen to accommodate both dine-in and take-out orders — two for pizzas and one for a rotating menu of oven-baked pasta, available as appetizers and entrees. Pizza prices range from $13.50 to $18 plus toppings.

A delicious seafood cannelloni stuffed with ricotta and prawns and topped with seafood soup and dusted with pecorino cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, for example, was on the menu on Thursday during the final pre-opening tests. Also available are gnocchi or campanelle with either pesto or gorgonzola; rigatoni in a pork stew; and Bucatini Amatriciana with Guanciale and Grana Padano. Expect $9.95 for app size, $17 for appetizers.

The pasta side is all Vince Jr., who said a high school job at Osteria gave him a taste of the culinary life and drove him to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY

But CIA training cannot praise the family-tested dough recipe, which yields a pie with a very thin crust and crispy bottom.

The new store opens at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday and will have last seating at 9 p.m., “but if we’re still working here and someone comes in, we don’t turn them away,” he said.

A Brief History of Tacconelli

Her restaurant, her pizza — and a few Vinces — trace her lineage to Giovanni Tacconelli, who emigrated to the United States from Sicily shortly after World War I and founded a bread bakery with a 20-by-20-foot brick oven on Somerset Street in the borough Port Richmond in Philly. His sons joined him when they came of age, but he stopped baking bread when they were drafted into the military to serve in World War II.

After the war, Tacconelli began making what was popularly known as tomato pie in the Italian-American enclave. He later passed the business on to son Anthony, who in turn passed the business on to his son Vince and wife Barbara.

When Vince and Barbara retired in 1998, the fourth generation took over.

Their son Vince and his wife Doris ran the pizzeria for four years. In 2003 they opened a location on Lenola Road across from Moorestown Mall. In 2014 they moved it to a former Five and Cent store on Main Street in Maple Shade and brought in their fifth generation son Vince III

Meanwhile, John Tacconelli – Vince and Barbara’s eldest son and Vince’s brother – ran the Port Richmond site with his family. This is the store known for encouraging customers to order their dough in advance. Maple Shade and Haddon Township have no such policy.

The companies operate separately.

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