The late Dom DeMarco is a certified pizza legend, and pizza influencer Dave Portnoy, the founder and president of Barstool Sports, is an unabashed fan of DiFara, where DeMarco spent more than half a century perfecting his pizza-making art. But what about the pizzeria in Las Vegas that bears DeMarco’s name—with a different owner?

Maybe you haven’t heard of it. Neither had Portnoy. But Dom DeMarco’s has earned its share of accolades on the Vegas pizza scene. It’s owned by Albert Scalleat, a protégé of DeMarco who studied under the master pizzaiolo for three years. The DeMarco name alone was enough to lure Portnoy, who was in Vegas for the Super Bowl, to Scalleat’s pizzeria.

Portnoy once gave the original Brooklyn location of DiFara a score of 9.4, one of his highest ratings ever. But he was surprised to discover Dom DeMarco’s in Las Vegas. “I didn’t even know he had this,” Portnoy said in his One Bite Review video. “I know there are other DiFara [locations], but I’ve never seen one named after the old man, Dom DeMarco. If you’re gonna put Dom DeMarco’s name on a box, it’d better knock your d— off because he is an icon and his name is gold in the pizza industry.”

Related: Dom DeMarco of DiFara Passes Away at 85

In the end, Portnoy wasn’t blown away, but he was nevertheless impressed. “Definitely has the vibe,” he said, after his first bite of one of Scalleat’s cheese pies. “A little thicker than I remember, but definitely has the vibe.”
After several more bites, Portnoy rendered his verdict: 7.9.

“Just missed an 8.1 for me,” he said. “It’s a little thicker than I remember. It’s still very good, and you can tell it has the vibes of Brooklyn. It’s as good as any we’ve had out there. I like it a little tighter, but, still, very good stuff.”

Scalleat, a retired New Yorker who ended up living in Las Vegas, was a longtime fan of DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies before he discovered DiFara in 2005 on the advice of his son-in-law. “He said this pizza here is just as good as DeLorenzo’s,” Scalleat told Portnoy in a post-review chat.

During his first visit to DiFara, Scalleat approached Margaret (Maggie) DeMarco Mieles, DeMarco’s daughter, about making a deal with her dad for a Las Vegas location. She made it clear: It wasn’t gonna happen.

As Scalleat explained, “I said, ‘I’d love to bring this pizza to Vegas.’ She said to me, ‘My father gets offers from the suits on Wall Street all day long. We’re not interested in doing business with anybody.’ So I walked back to the table and told my son-in-law, I said, ‘This ain’t gonna be easy.’”

Scalleat kept going back to DiFara and kept getting the cold shoulder. But after his son-in-law opened a hotel in New York, Scalleat’s family credentials began to look a little more promising to DeMarco and his family. Eventually, DeMarco’s son, Dominick, helped broker a deal.

One Bite Review / YouTube

Every Monday and Tuesday, while DiFara was closed, Scalleat would fly from Las Vegas to New York to learn at the feet of the master. Since he opened Dom DeMarco’s, the kudos have been rolling in. The pizzeria, known for both a New York-style thin crust and a thick-crust Sicilian-style pie, was named a gold winner in the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s “Best of Las Vegas” reader survey in 2023.

DeMarco personally made every pie served at DiFara for most of his 55-year career. He passed away at the age of 85 in March 2022.

Additionally, Scalleat owns an actual DiFara location in Caesars Palace in Vegas.

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