After a car wreck on Christmas night left Peter and Shannon Micali, owners of Bellissimo Pizza in Brooklyn, New York, unable to work in their pizzeria, their customers and collaborators have rallied to help ensure the beloved Williamsburg neighborhood restaurant can keep paying its bills.

In a December 27 post on Instagram, Peter said that he and his family were involved in “a horrible accident” and were “very lucky to be alive.” He said they lost control of the vehicle while trying to avoid a reckless driver on I-64, flipped the car multiple times and landed in a ravine.

At the time, he was recuperating in the hospital after surgery to repair a broken clavicle. He also broke eight ribs and sustained injuries to his sternum and back. Shannon suffered several fractures in her back and several broken ribs, while Peter’s mother sustained similar injuries.

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This photo shows Pete and Shannon Micali in what appears to be a mall with a Christmas tree behind them.

Peter and Shannon Micali (Bellissimo Pizza / Instagram)

At the time, Peter predicted that he would have to close down Bellissimo Pizza “for at least a month.”

Since then, a GoFundMe campaign has thus far raised $25,635 toward a goal of $40,000.

Peter founded Bellissimo Pizza with his father in 2007. The pizzeria has more than 4,000 followers on Facebook and 1,704 followers on Instagram.

In a December 28 post on Facebook, Peter shared the GoFundMe campaign link, adding, “I’m embarrassed to put this here because I’m not the person who asks for a handout. But this is to help pay my employees and keep the rent and bills for the pizzeria paid. I’m not sure how long I’ll be out of commission, but when I spoke to my doctor, she told me to expect to be out 6 to 8 weeks. That’s too long for me. I’ll do everything I can to get back there sooner, but in the meantime, I could really use your help right now.”

In a December 30 follow-up post on Facebook, Peter said he’s “really hoping in the next couple of weeks I can get back in there. I’m just trying to be positive, but only time will tell. By the grace of God, though, I know we’ll be OK in time.”

The Micalis definitely have friends ready and willing to help out, including at least one other local pizza business. According to the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, the Virginia Beer Company (VBC) a longtime collaborator with Bellissimo Pizza, and pizza food truck Bald Guy’s Pies set up a New Year’s Day fundraiser to assist the Micali family. VBC’s taproom opened from 12 noon until 9 p.m. that day, with 30% of the sales going to help Bellissimo Pizza, while Bald Guy’s Pies planned to donate 10% of its sales to the cause that same day.

“Our relationship goes back as far as 2012,” VBC co-founder Chris Smith told the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily. “In 2020, we created an Italian pilsner and named it Bellissimo in honor of them. We love the partnership. It is a relationship that has grown over time. They sell our beer and are very supportive of VBC. When we saw the news, we knew we had to do something.”

“Our mantra is Beer, People, Purpose,” Smith added. “And we try to live that. When we see people in our community directly in need, we want to jump into action and partner with others to help.”

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