A legendary name in the Buffalo pizza business will be opening a new location at 634 Clinton Street, not far from Larkinville. Bocce Club Pizza owner Jim Pacciotti says that he is reintroducing Bocce Club Pizza to the neighborhood where it all began, back in ’46. While the original location was on Hickory Street, just around the corner, it was the larger Clinton Street location where the family built up the successful business, starting in 1958.
Now everything is coming full circle, according to Jim, who purchased the building from a cousin a few years back. Moving forward, the plan is to add on to the existing brick structure, thus creating a prideful destination for the neighborhood once again. It’s pretty neat to think that this is the same building where Jim’s dad (Dino) helped to grow the family business. “They did some great business there,” said Jim. “People in the neighborhood still talk about those days, when there was so much activity. Unfortunately, the area fell on some tough times.”
When the old neighborhood fell on hard times, Bocce Club Pizza ended up closing its doors, to build up other locations in Amherst (near UB South) and Williamsville (near UB North), both of which Jim still operates today. 634 Clinton Street will be Jim’s third location. “We’re drawing up plans currently,” Jim told me. “We’re very happy with all of the progress that we are seeing in Downtown Buffalo, and feel that the time is right to invest in the neighborhood. This business has been a labor of love for me. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It’s going to take around 6 or 9 months before we open this location. Once open, it will feature the same menu as my other locations. We do a high volume of takeout pizza, subs, wings, and salads – we’re hoping to service the office buildings in Downtown Buffalo.”
It is interesting to note that the name Bocce Club Pizza was derived from Jim’s dad (Dino), who was working at the Bocce Club on Hickory Street – a club that had bocce courts in the yard. Eventually Dino managed to buy the place, along with his sister, Melvina Sacco. The two began serving sandwiches and drinks inside, which turned out to be a big hit. Eventually, Dino found an old pizza oven in the basement, and the rest is history.