Here’s a closer look behind the Jersey Shore landmark Pete & Elda’s
It's been a Jersey Shore landmark for over 50-years and Carmen's Pizzeria, or more commonly known as Pete and Elda's, still has some history you may not know about.
It was in 1961 when Carmen Andretta joined forces with Pete and Elda at the restaurant on Route 35 in Neptune City.
Pete and Elda ran the bar while Carmen ran the pizzeria.
Carmen then passed down the business to his son George who kept Carmen, Pete and Elda's names on the building.
"I took over from him when I was 19 and then took the bar over at age 28, and at that time it was 31-years since it opened and I was thinking why change the name now, it's been both names for so long, and here we are today," Andretta said.
Another part of the family tradition George continued is having their thin crust pizza which he says wasn't popular when his father rolled it out, but is loved today.
"That (the thin crust) is what my father had started back in 1961 when he was here and we just stuck with it," Andretta said. "But, back in those days there wasn't really much interest in thin crust pizza but nowadays it seems more like people want to copy it and they think thin crust pizza is the secret to doing a good business."
As the Jersey Shore has grown over the years so has the business he took over from his father in 1984.
"We're way, way, way busier than we ever were back in 1984," Andretta said.
When your family or friends come in from out of state, where do you go for food?
Would you ever challenge them to eat a whole double extra large pizza at Pete and Elda's?
Andretta says they have people from from both near and far.
"They've come here from Pennsylvania, New York and Florida," Andretta said. "People will come up and say 'we just got here, our clothes and everything is in the car and we haven't gotten home yet' and they'll come in and eat pizza."
Many of their guests come in to join the whole pie eaters club where if you eat a Double XL pie all by yourself you get a free limited edition t-shirt...and bragging rights.
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The idea for the double extra large pizza challenge came from a trip George Andretta took years ago to Cape May.
"They had a thing that if you drank a yard of beer, you got a t-shirt, so that gave me the idea 'hey, I wonder how that would work with pizza'. It started off slow but it's been moving along pretty good," Andretta said.
The whole pie eaters club has continued to gain popularity as well over the years.
"They (customers) love coming in, they'll call and ask we're on the new (t-shirt) edition yet and a lot of times you'll see them all the time anyway," Andretta said.
They're currently up to t-shirt edition #227, but it won't be there for long.