Vic’s Celebrates 70 years
BY LARISSA FORESE, NIGHT AND DAY
Vic’s Restaurant has been drawing generations to its Bradley Beach location since the 1940s. Keeping everything simple and homemade, customers can enjoy their favorite meal without any variations.
Vittorio “Vic” Giunco and his wife, Carmella, immigrated from Italy in 1910.
Starting with many small businesses — Vic even owned a speakeasy during Prohibition — he eventually came around to the idea of owning a bar.
Once the ban was lifted, Vic’s Tap Room opened in the 1930’s in the center of Bradley Beach.
Vic later acquired a larger piece of property, where the Vic’s Restaurant we all know and love now presides.
Still managed by family — current fourth- generation family members — Vic’s will always be the culinary home away from home for many customers near and far.
“We have pictures when you first walk in,” said General Manager Travis Semblewski, a fourth-generation family member. “You can see Vic and his family, along with the first liquor license from Vic’s Tap Room.”
From the front end of Vic’s to the back of the house, everything has been the same for 70 years.
“We are very consistent,” said Semblewski. “The guy who makes all the sauces has been here for 40 years. The ‘newbie’ here is one of our chefs and he’s been here for 20 [years].”
The kitchen is the domain of four main chefs, who instill the same flavor in every dish, no matter what day of the week.
Vic’s not only has the same staff, but the menu has rarely changed since the eatery opened its doors in 1947.
“That’s why I feel people love coming here, that sense of familiarity,” added Semblewski.
He also shared that people dining at Vic’s usually stick with their favorite dish.
“I meet people who find out I work at Vic’s and tell me our Lasagna is ‘their thing,’ ” he said.
And, the community around Vic’s is stronger than ever. Long time regular Ed Malkin has been passing by ‘hundreds of pizza places,’ since the 1950’s on his way to eat at Vic’s.
“It’s worth the trip,” said Malkin. “And it’s always the same, it’s the spot to be.”
On March 17, Vic’s doors will officially have been open for 70 years.
Keeping the celebration low key, Vic’s is hanging banners, putting out special placemats and, of course, selling T-shirts.
“I’ve seen people come have dinner here wearing a shirt from our 50th [anniversary] celebration,” said Semblewski.
“We don’t want to do anything big. It’s a Friday night, we don’t want to create a longer wait for people.”
Join in the 70th anniversary celebration of this iconic Italian restaurant, and for special announcements about the anniversary T-shirts and more, follow the Facebook page: Vics Italian Restaurant.