New York natives Bruno DiFabio and Michael Bennici add restaurants on State Road 100 and in Hammock Beach.
by: Tristen Perez
Bronx House Pizza, founded by Bruno DiFabio and Michael Bennici, is adding two new locations in Flagler County, adding 40 new jobs to the community.
DiFabio has been friends with Bennici for over 20 years. Although they were both born in adjacent neighborhoods in New York, they didn’t meet until they both happened to attend a pizza show event in Las Vegas. While networking, they found they had more similarities than just a passion for pizza; they had both recently lost family members. Bennici had recently lost his father, and DiFabio had lost his brother, both who coincidentally shared the same name, Joe.
While discussing their family history, Bennici mentioned that his father had owned a gas station in Yonkers, and after providing details of the location, DiFabio had an unbelievable realization that he had met Bennici’s father years ago.
DiFabio went on to explain that many years ago, while driving in Yonkers approaching an intersection, his brakes gave out, causing him to swerve into a nearby a gas station. To his aid came the owner of the gas station, Bennici’s father. After examining the vehicle, he informed DiFabio that he desperately needed brake fluid, among other maintenance issues. They managed to get the vehicle functional for the time being, and when DiFabio offered to pay for the assistance, Joe Bennici adamantly declined.
Flash forward to two years ago. Michael Bennici and DiFabio were opening up the first Bronx House location in Ormond Beach. While they were concerned about competition and standing out in a difficult industry, their worries quickly disappeared as the subtle New York-themed, theater-style kitchen found great success in the community.
Due to the city’s growing population and demand, they plan to expand to two new locations, one of which is on State 100, where Brad Beam will be the managing partner. Bruce Garrison, Michael Goodman, and the three will be managing the other, across the Publix in the Hammock.