CHAMPAIGN — After more than eight years serving big, round, cheesy New York-style pizzas at 401 W. Kirby Ave. in Champaign, Vinny’s East Coast Pizzeria will soon be moving.
Owner Mohamed Dardir said that the restaurant he founded in 2009, Vinny’s, will serve its final pizza on Kirby Avenue on Feb. 28 before reopening March 15 at 50 E. Green St.
Dardir, a native of New York, got his start in Champaign-Urbana working on campus at the old Antonio’s Pizza with five other members of his family.
He started Vinny’s on Neil Street to avoid competing with his old employer.
On Champaign’s south side, Vinny’s thrived, serving not only pizzas, but also garlic knots, mozzarella sticks and boneless and fresh wings.
Dardir’s business has six full-time and two part-time employees.
“Antonio’s eventually closed down, so we decided to come back to campus,” Dardir said.
He said the new eatery will be larger with 11 parking spots and will allow room to offer more gourmet pizzas, along with pizza by the slice.
The new restaurant will be called Vinny’s by the Slice and More. Vinny’s phone number will remain the same, 217-355-4500.