About Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven Pizzeria
In 1940’s Harlem in a humble pizzeria, the Italian immigrant owner hires his teenaged nephew to help out around the shop; a normal occurrence within family businesses. Unbeknownst to either of them, this would plant, within the young man, the seeds that would decades later help bring to fruition a pizza powerhouse by the same name of the humble pizza parlor: Patsy’s.
Over three decades later and three thousand miles away a young man stands in the fields of his family farm. Staring off into the distance, preoccupied with thoughts of his own American dream and the promise of a better life, watching the sun go down on the rolling green hills of his one road Irish hometown. Two people, from two different backgrounds, with two different plans, sharing one path leading to pizza perfection.
Sean McHugh came to the United States with the skill set of an accomplished carpenter. After rising to the top ranks of the construction company he worked for he decided to make a hand at working for himself. His approach was modest: a small ad in the local penny saver. Luckily, that ad would be seen by Patsy Grimaldi. One call from Patsy set into motion the events that would lead to the creation of our world famous establishments. Sean took on the job of building the restaurant along with the custom coal burning oven and before long the foundation, for both the restaurant and a dynamic partnership, was laid.
In the coming years Sean spent his free time working behind the pizza counter learning the trade. After five years of this Patsy approached Sean with the opportunity he had been waiting for: a partnership and a restaurant of his own. Together they set their sights on Hoboken, New Jersey; a mile square Hudson county city quickly transforming itself into a New York City commuter’s paradise. Construction began in the Spring of 1994 and from the day the doors opened Sean and his wife, Bernadette, poured themselves into the business making the name Patsy’ synonymous with the words “quality dining” and “must have pizza”. Over the next fifteen years they would continue to solidify their presence in the neighborhood as well as the pizza stratosphere becoming a Hoboken landmark.
Persistence and patience would pay off for these two when a highly coveted spot on the main thoroughfare became available. After securing the Washington street location the duo opened up their second location within the Mile Square, managing to appeal to the young trendy crowd of Hoboken while still holding onto the old world charm that made the original so popular.
Today, after some legal disputes concerning the name, the establishments go by the name of Grimaldi’s; this, we can assure, is the only thing to change. Sean and Bernadette are still hard at work ensuring that every pie that comes out of their custom built, coal burning, thousand degree oven, meets the high standards Sean adopted from Patsy Grimaldi twenty years earlier. So come down to either of our locations and hear the story firsthand from Sean, or his wife and kids, while enjoying what has been kindly referred to as, “the best damn pizza ever”.