Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza
is a rapidly growing franchise started by East Lansing native Chuck Senatore in Florida that will open its second Michigan location near Senatore’s old stomping grounds in Lansing Township.
The new 4,200 square foot restaurant is set to open near Eastwood Towne Center and will be one of four restaurants part-owned by Senatore that will open there soon. Six additional Michigan locations are currently in the works. The secret to Tony Sacco’s has been the restaurant’s commitment to an unusual cooking method.
“It’s a traditional pizzeria,” says Senatore, “the way things used to be made. We make our own sauce, our own dough, everything. We have no microwaves, no stove. Everything we do is done in the coal burning oven.”
And he means everything. Senatore explains that everything is heated in the coal-burning ovens originally used by the first pizza places operated by Italian immigrants at the beginning of the last century. The method cooks the pizza in four minutes, creating a unique texture to the crust, as well as tastier toppings.
“We cook at extremely high temperatures,” says Senatore, “near 1000 degrees. Because it only takes four minutes to cook, the toppings don’t get murdered with all that heat.”
About 30 employees will be hired to staff the new Tony Sacco’s, which will seat approximately 120. The restaurant will feature a full bar and 40-person capacity heated patio.
Senatore plans to open Tony Sacco’s within the next month.