Downtown Capri Pizza in Johnstown sold; new restaurant, retail store opening in June
May 26 – JOHNSTOWN, Pennsylvania – After 29 years serving loyal customers at Capri Pizza and Restaurant in downtown Johnstown, owner Angelo DiRosa is retiring from the business and selling the building.
Capri Pizza & Restaurant, 502 Main St., closes late Friday, but will reopen with a new name, new menu and a new owner who knows Johnstown.
DiRosa sells the kitchen building and equipment to Lawra Stuart, who has 14 years of food service experience.
Stuart said she is retaining all Capri employees and after the deal closes next week she plans to reopen the restaurant in early June as “Main Street Pizzeria and Grill.”
“Current Capri employees will become new members of the Main Street Pizzeria and Grill family on May 30,” she said. “They’re excited to continue their journey in the world they know, and I’m thrilled to be part of the transformation taking place in downtown Johnstown.”
DiRosa doesn’t sell Capri recipes or the name of the restaurant — those will stay in her family. There are two other places in Capri. His mother owns the downtown Richland location in Richland Township, and his sister owns the Westwood Plaza location in Lower Yoder Township.
Stuart walked into the downtown restaurant in January to ask if she could rent Capri’s dining room to open a retail business, DiRosa said.
“I said, ‘I’ll make you better,'” he said. “I said, ‘I’m going to sell it.’ That’s when the wheels started moving.”
Stuart’s plans for the building include two separate ventures. Initially, she wanted to rent the dining room at 504 Main Street as a physical location for her e-commerce store, The Honeypot.
When DiRosa also offered her the kitchen at 502 Main Street, she sat down with him to go over the numbers, “and it went from there,” she said.
“The Honeypot is currently a successful e-commerce retail store that has been around for four years,” she said. “The building is currently undergoing renovations. The Honeypot will have a soft opening on June 1.”
Hours of operation are tentatively set from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.
“I’m thrilled to offer the community the ability to purchase items from stores like Target, Walmart, Home Depot, CVS, Rite Aid and more at a fraction of the price,” she said. “Some items include toiletries, seasonal, clothing, lawn and garden, makeup, toys, housewares, home decor, pool and water sports, back to school items, summer, health and wellness, cleaning supplies, bath and body and more.”
Main Street Pizzeria and Grill will operate on the pickup and delivery side of Capri.
“It will also be transformed into an industrial look that will provide additional seating in the back half of the restaurant, behind the retail store,” Stuart said. “It will certainly be a warm and welcoming establishment where you will want to meet up with friends and family.
“Main Street Pizzeria and Grill will have a soft opening on June 1, offering a limited menu for the first week. Current hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will be extended once renovations are well underway.”
DiRosa’s Johnstown family business began 50 years ago with a Capri Pizza location in the Richland Mall. Capri’s name comes from a town in Italy where her father, Filippo DiRosa, vacationed as a child. DiRosa’s father immigrated to the United States from Italy when he was 12, he said.
“Capri was his favorite place,” DiRosa said. “It’s a city that has good memories for him.”
DiRosa’s father owned and operated a location in Capri, Indiana County before retiring and moving to Florida in search of warmer weather.
Today, DiRosa retires from downtown Johnstown, where he worked for nearly three decades. He plans to expand his side business: — he sells sports tickets through Ticketmaster.
However, DiRosa, 46, has hinted at a possible return to the restaurant business one day. He said that although his father retired, he opened a Capri location in Tampa, Florida, which is still open.
“Sometimes it reminds you – that’s my concern,” he said. “It’s in my blood. I was at the restaurant in the Richland Mall a day after I was born.”
While he’s not counting on an eventual return to the restaurant business, he said it’s the furthest thing on his mind now.
“It’s almost surreal,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 29 years. I could do this in my sleep.”
DiRosa said he felt it was time for a change. He said the past few years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic have been particularly difficult.
“When I say, ‘It’s time,’ that’s what I mean – since COVID, the job has changed, the customers have changed, and the product has changed in terms of price and supply,” a- he declared.