Perry Messina moved from Sicily to New York with his parents in 1912. Raised by a hardworking family, in a small trattoria in Hell’s Kitchen selling traditional home cooked Sicilian dishes and sweet confectionary. Times were hard and in 1920 when prohibition hit the family struggled to make ends meet. Perry was now a young adult and as his patents were growing older and their health beginning to fail, it was down to Perry to save the family business and provide for the family, it was then that Perry met Zito.
Tony Zito was an only child of a single mother, Rosalina Zito. Rosalina was the cousin of Lucky Luciano, a gunman for the Lower Manhattan gang. Without a Father to look after him, Lucky took Tony under his wing and gave him a job working as the boss of the Lower Manhattan’s Italian restaurant Luigi’s in Little Italy. Luigi’s had long since been a front for money laundering and after January 17th, 1920 the back rooms of Luigi’s became a speakeasy bar untouched by the local NYPD.
In early 1921, Perry borrowed money from the Irish Mob and unable to pay it back, he was in trouble. On advice from a friend, he went to Zito for help. Zito repaid his loan in return for a hand in the business. Over the next decade, Perry & Zito became firm friends. In 1932, in the midst of the Castellammarese War, a power struggle between the mob families, Zito decided to retire from mob life and partner with Perry full time in his now booming restaurant.
Perry & Zito worked together for many years, bringing high quality Sicilian Italian food infused with the spirit of New York to their loyal customers. Perry passed away in old age in 1982 with no family left behind aside from his best friend. Zito died shortly after but not before passing down the tricks of his trade to his children in order that they can carry on the Perry & Zito empire. We now bring this Pizza, Pasta, Grill experience to you.