Regina Pizzeria: The Polcari family segued from supplying groceries to a nearby neighborhood pizzeria to owning it.

Located in Boston’s North End, Regina Pizzeria scored a marketing coup with a 10-story-high banner celebrating the Boston Marathon.



Regina Pizzeria

 

In 1926, when Regina Pizzeria (reginapizzeria.com) opened its doors in Boston’s residential North End, the founding family bought wine, beer, tomatoes and cheese for the restaurant from the Polcari family, headed by John Sr., who owned the grocery store across the street. By the early 1940s, the Polcaris purchased the pizzeria themselves, implementing their own family recipes into the business and starting with a small variety of toppings: cheese, mushroom, peppers, onions and anchovies. “Pepperoni came later, in the 1950s, and other recipes developed over the years as consumers’ palates changed,” recounts Anthony Buccieri, current COO and nephew of Tony Polcari, John Sr.’s son. “But Regina was a neighborhood restaurant that was successful from the start.””

With a Neapolitan-style thin crust, tomatoes grown solely for the pizzeria, sausage crafted from a family recipe, and mozzarella made to specification, the business takes pride in maintaining consistency—not just on a day-to-day basis, but over nearly 90 years. As John Sr. passed the business to his sons, Tony, Charles and John Jr. (eventually succeeded by their son-in-laws, nephews and assorted family members), each ushered in changes big and small: the addition of air conditioning, switching the ovens from coal-fired to gas, POS systems replacing pencil and paper. Its second location didn’t open until 1975—nearly 50 years after the company’s start—but today the Boston-area legend has 20 stores in two states. “What has made Regina Pizzeria successful over the years is having a passion for the product, great team members, and quality, quality, quality,” Buccieri asserts. “As the years went by, Regina became a historical pizzeria. People often say, ‘You haven’t been to Boston if you haven’t gone to Regina’s.’”

That’s not to imply the Polcari family has ever rested on its well-established laurels. In the 1980s, its biggest marketing coup involved a 10-story-high banner erected for the Boston Marathon that garnered the attention of the masses, while fundraisers, donations to nonprofits, a popular loyalty program, and curbside-to-go service at every location keep the business booming—with more growth planned for the future. “Our greatest achievement is the consistency in the product, which has been instrumental in Regina Pizzeria becoming an icon,” Buccieri explains. “Anyone who wants to start a pizzeria must have a great, consistent product—but you also must be willing to live for the business and have a passion for it, too.” 

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Recipe: The Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza from DeIorio’s

If your customers love ranch dressing and buffalo sauce, you can’t go wrong with this pizza recipe from DeIorio’s.

Playing with fire: Experts offer their top tips for working with wood-fired pizza ovens

From dough preparation to finishing flourishes, a wood-fired oven demands more knowledge and expertise than a modern oven.

As PMQ celebrates its 20th anniversary, we honor the past and look forward to the future in this special oral history.

PMQ’s founders and longtime team members reflect on two decades of progress, pranks, pitfalls and pizza.

Our Town America: Now offering POS integration for ease of use for larger brands

Using a mobile app, pizzeria owners can track who redeems their offers, then follow up with a second offer.

Pizzeria operators can turn heads with signature menu items from Caputo


Leading industry cheese manufacturer Caputo offers custom cheese solutions to inspire application innovation.

Cut waste and excess fat from your pizzas with StitZii box liners

StitZii’s grease-absorbent pizza box liners let pizzeria owners deliver a healthier pizza and protect the environment.

As technology advances and communications platforms keep changing, the pizza business remains a people business

With a phone in every pocket, who would have guessed talking on those phones would become so passe?

Double your pizza production with Marra Forni

The double-mouth oven makes for twice the efficiency and twice the versatility.

Data breaches: A restaurant operator’s worst nightmare

When it comes to protecting your POS data from hackers and thieves, the IRS recommends following these 5 steps.

Boosting traffic to your pizzeria: Does it pay to advertise on Yelp?

Yelp’s a powerful influencer for restaurant customers, but Think Tank users say you can get a better return for your money with another ad strategy.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags