Our Rich History
In the late 1940’s, Tony Mallamaci opened a small corner bar in South Philly at 10th and Jackson Streets. Shortly after, Tony’s brother, Dominic left the Philadelphia Fire Dept. and joined Tony in the business venture. It was only one room with a small bar, but it would be the start of a business that would last for decades. The name of the bar was Tony’s Place.
Tony had learned to bake growing up in South Philly. Soon he and Dominic were selling homemade roast beef and meatball sandwiches. They also started baking thinly crusted dough with their own homemade tomato sauce on top. With no cheese on the dough, this was a traditional tomato pie!
Seeing the future of “The Great Northeast,” Tony and Dominic started searching for a new location for their business. They soon signed a lease for one unit of a brand new building. In 1951, the two brothers moved Tony’s Place and opened its present location on Frankford Avenue. The brothers often passed out free slices of their tomato pie, no cheese, out on Frankford Avenue to entice new business. At the new location Dominic managed the bar while Tony prepared the food. The Menu expanded to include two pasta dinners, served only until 8PM while signs behind the bar advertised $.10 drafts and $.25 shots.
Fast Forward to 1980, Tony’s Place had become a bustling business where people were lined up out the door to get a seat most every Friday and Saturday night. Then and present owner, Joe Mallamaci, second generation, saw the need for Tony’s Place to branch out again and seized the opportunity of an empty adjacent storefront. Joe opened the present 80-seat dining room and added another kitchen while expanding the menu to much of what it is today.
Fifty-one years after opening, Tony’s Place still serves the same great Tomato pie that was started by Dominic and Tony. Tony’s Place has won the “Best of Philly” Magazine Tomato Pie award, added great appetizers, weekend entree specials, and even homemade desserts! Tony’s can also accommodate large parties for that special occassion.
Whether it’s your first time at Tony’s or your 50th, you are always treated like family. This is partly because many of our employees have been with Tony’s Place for over 10 years, some even 20+ years. Tony’s Place is a great family restaurant where you can catch the local sports on TV while meeting up with old friends or making new ones.