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Danforth Pizza House for sale

Assuming that fellow East Yorkers / Danforth types / pizza junkies will find this of interest: http://www.christinesimpson.com/Prope...

Apparently, the long-serving pizza business is for sale along with the building.

This will be a real loss for the neighbourhood.

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  1. oh nos.
    are they still open until sold?

    1. I had ordered pizza around 4 times after Angelo passed away, and never found it as good. They seemed to be skimping on ingredients. I ordered from there frequently enough to easily notice the difference. I decided that with the increased price and decline in the pizza, it was not worth ordering from there any longer. I had meant to ask here if anyone else had noticed it, but didn't really want to mention it. But now that it is for sale, I'm not so worried to say what I think. (just like Jen from BH )

      11 Replies
      1. re: foodyDudey

        We, along with a bunch of neighbours in the area feel that the pizza is just as good as before.

        It is Angelo's son that is running the place, and as far as I understand, he's been involved for some time, even before Angelo passed away.

        The place is still open and will remain that way until they find a suitable buyer.

        1. re: millygirl

          Maybe I just went on 4 occasions when it was not the same! Yes I know it is his some running it.

          1. re: millygirl

            Very good- but not quite as good.

            It's the crust. Missing the same beautiful, just-shy-of-burnt char on the bottom. But in fairness, Angelo was making pizzas the better part of 50 years. Dude could make the perfect pizza by sound.

            1. re: biggreenmatt

              Thanks Matt, I knew I was not imagining it! Did you notice a bit less ingredients also?

              1. re: foodyDudey

                No. Just differences in the crust. Very slight, but the difference between an A and an A+.

                The nice thing is that they accommodate requests for lots of burnt cheese, which was one of the main draws for me.

                1. re: biggreenmatt

                  Many people will probably not notice any difference. What I remember is the crust was rather floppy, not like it was a year back, and there were less ingredients on it than previously. But still good for the average customer.

                  1. re: foodyDudey

                    Of course we all know, you are not the average customer Fd

              2. re: biggreenmatt

                He also insisted on baking it as long as it took, no matter how many hungry people were waiting around staring, or how much business he was missing. I can easily see how those extra few oven minutes would be the first thing to go given their limited oven space and hungry crowds.

            2. re: foodyDudey

              I just had a pizza today from here that is nothing close to what I would get in the past. Extremely stingy on ingredients...absolutely not worth it at this price for what I got. My wife and I were huge fans of this place.

              The cheese didn't even extend all the way to the crust. Imagine a ring just inside the pizza crust, about the thickness of the actual crust....all that area had no cheese at all. Seemed like the cheese was overcooked, maybe thats why it wasn't really melty and stringy the way pizza cheese should be. So every bite you took, the entire toppings/cheese layer would slide right off the pizza unless you held it there with your hand.

              The crust was very floppy, and thinner than it used to be.

              1. re: szw

                Looks like you got the same sort of pizza that I did, and have the same opinion. It's amazing that Angelo's son has inherited a gold mine and didn't keep things as they were. The pizza he is charging $25 for can't cost $5 to make, and the store was probably paid off by 1980, so there is no need to skimp on ingredients. But no problem, all millygirl's neighbours will keep him in business.

                1. re: foodyDudey

                  we've been regular customers for years. i'd say the pizza is marginally less magnificent than it used to be.
                  the crust - well, the crust was magic when angelo was alive - is not quite as good,but i can't say i've noticed a change in the amount of toppings, at least not on what we've ordered the last 2-3 times.
                  can't comment on price tho. we always gave angelo $25 for a medium pie as that was what is was worth to us.

            3. Haven't been by, but this is sad news indeed. Another classic pizza place gone.

              1. oh. moved into the hood about 2 years ago and went only once, actually exactly a year ago today. thought it was a really good place. Angelo was cool, made an awesome pie. rip

                3 Replies
                1. re: filtered

                  very sad. i used to go often when i lived on the danforth, but haven't been since angelo passed away. shame it went downhill.

                  1. re: barnes1852

                    I think downhill is a bit of a stretch, actually. They are in there busting their asses and it's pretty clearly a labour of love and respect for what was.

                    1. re: julesrules


                      Not exactly the same, but it can't be exactly the same. Still a good hunk of fat, carb and protein to stick into yer pie hole.

                2. When restaurants are sold and the person doing the cookingand/or management of the place is no longer there, it is basically a sale of the assets (ie furniture, plates, stoves, etc) and not a sale of the restaurant in terms of it being the same as before.

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: Flexitarian

                    In this case, the asset is a pizza oven. Based on the listing they are trying to sell 1) the building 2) the reputation of the pizza.

                    1. re: julesrules

                      If the guy who built the reputation is not included in the sale, # 2 above is worth $0, not $129K as they are asking for the pizza business. The pizza oven may be worth $2K tops now, the other chattels only have sentimental value.

                      1. re: foodyDudey

                        Oh come on, the low boy is prolly worth $150 as well. ;)

                        1. re: LexiFirefly

                          hahaha. nothing funnier than laughing at others misfortune.
                          can't imagine why jen egg has no respect for this site

                          1. re: Main334bag

                            I'm hardly laughing at others misfortune, however the amount being asked is ridiculous. Ask all you want for the building, but restaurants downtown don't go for that much, 60-80k reasonable. 129k for that space is ridiculous and honestly highway robbery.

                            1. re: LexiFirefly

                              not to be a jerk, but do you have any idea how to place a value on a business?
                              terms like EBITDA familiar to you?

                              if the restaurant was making $40 000 profit a year, which isn't a lot, getting that business (and the recipes and some training, i assume) is a pretty good deal.

                              i've been following restaurant lease sales. this is well below most prices.

                              1. re: atomeyes

                                Yes I do have an idea and I'd be interested to see which sales you are speaking of. The price per square foot is really high, and the main asset of the business is no longer around. I wish the family well, but I just don't think the neighbourhood is at that sort of level yet. I've seen this happen on both sides and it's incredibly sad for all involved.

                                1. re: atomeyes

                                  You'd pay much less just leasing a place close by from scratch and buying use equipment. Lots of places on that area of the Danforth come up and when that place doesn't sell as an ongoing business, ie a pizza place, you'll be in a good situation. Also, it's not like that place had anything of value in terms of leasehold improvements/interior design.

                                  As for recipes and training that's not worth much at all and if a prospective buyer needs that I would suggest they likely shouldn't buy the place.

                                  1. re: Flexitarian

                                    Yes leasing is cheaper but the you do not own the building and will be paying a landlord with this you will own the building ... To take an empty storefront and get all of the equioment, contractors, licences and approvals.. is going to take 4 -5 months where you are paying rent and have no income...

                                    Just a hood vent alone can be $40k.. and are not good to buy used as there is a lot of work to remove and install them.. and fire inspector can be very picky with these..

                                    end of the day if you can walk in and start cooking.. vs haaving to build it probably would be a wash in terms of cost / revenue

                                    1. re: pourboi

                                      There is no hood vent at DPH so that does not apply. All they have is some counter space, pizza oven, and some old props from the 50's like the cash register. Plus some pizza boxes.

                                      1. re: foodyDudey

                                        Most Pizza ovens are under hood vents as they are ovens.. Is it not a gas oven?

                                        1. re: pourboi

                                          Pretty sure it's gas fired. Note the photo on the real estate shot that clearly has a vent. Not an ansul system or fusible link to be seen. I look after 7 kitchens now and shake my head... lol Unless the oven has a self contained suppression system, which is not likely. The pie was fantastic regardless.

                                      2. re: pourboi

                                        Very few people opening restaurant businesses buy the building or can afford to. It's very rare. What you save in not buying the business (and whatever vent hood might be included) more than makes up for a few months rent.

                        2. re: Flexitarian

                          Except that 90% of the population have no idea who is running/cooking in a restaurant. So if you buy the "business" and do not change the name or the sign you are in fact buying the loyalty of the customers which does have some value. As does walking into a turnkey business where you have a website, boxes, menus, flyers, etc stacked up waiting for you..

                          The guy who orders a pizza once a week and has the number on speed dial is probably not going to go to another pizza place for his pie unless the new owners piss off the old customers...

                          I am not saying the amounts are correct but to say the business is only worth the equipment is absolutely false. There is also the cost of starting from scratch. How much would it cost and how much time to take an empty storefront and set it up as a pizza store, fire inspections, health inspection, plumbing, hood vents, city licencing, etc... Just to get a hood vent in you are looking $20k+ ...

                          1. re: pourboi

                            That may be true, but if you are a savvy buyer, you buy only the assets (and kitchen equipment is like 20c on the dollar) as when an owner changes the loyalty of the customers often does the same. A website, boxes, menus etc are a pittance compared to buying the rest of the assets btw. Rarely do 'one-man' type operations like the Danforth Pizza place sell as a going concern because for the most part it isn't when the brains leave because of the sale.

                            Also, if you are buying the assets you are not starting from scratch or with an empty storefront. That will all be there. Maybe you need the inspections again but if you haven't changed anything and everything had been inspected before that should just be routine.

                            Anyone buying the Danforth Pizza place will quickly realize that customer loyalty only goes so far and that it's tough to duplicate exactly what went on before such that everything stays the same.

                            1. re: pourboi

                              This place has none of that (flyers, website, delivery). They have a phone which is often left off the hook and had one very distinctive and beloved old man making the pizza. The amount of pizza he could produce was always limited by the size of the oven, hence leaving the phone off the hook.
                              Everyone who goes here knows the deal. Obliviously there are a few people as on this thread who don't go often, and might not have realized what made the place special, but those aren't the people that a buyer would be making money off based on reputation.

                              1. re: julesrules

                                I was just talking in general as I have never been to this Pizza place.. But at the end of the day what someone asks for something does not usually reflect what they get paid... especially real estate, business and used equipment..

                          2. I actually haven't been back, or ordered, from DPH ever since Angelo passed (God rest his soul).

                            We all saw this day coming, so it probably is time to visit again before DPH disappears into folklore and legend.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: pakmode

                              woah woah woah...let's not delve into hyperbole.

                              i'm not originally from toronto. i can tell you that Danforth was one of the better pies in Toronto, hands down. It is not a pie that legend or folklore was made of. it was pretty good, but not godsent.

                              1. re: atomeyes

                                We will have to agree to disagree then.

                                1. re: pakmode

                                  I went once and didn't find there was anything special about the pizza, but then I am spoiled as I make my pizzas handmade at home.

                              2. re: pakmode

                                He was a legend in the area, and his pizza was damn good. Not your "Pizza Libratto" type gourmet pizza, but great when you just wanted the basics, with a nice char on the crust, to eat at home on a Friday night.
                                May Angelo rest in peace. With the angels.

                                1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                  Yes, and I won't be back. I was a customer for about 48 years and am moving on now.. there's just so much more new experiences out there and so little time in the grand scheme of things. We spoke to Angelo a couple of times when waiting for our pie and remember it fondly. And I remember years ago when his uncle was making the pie along with Angelo. Found out he went back to Italy years ago. A smart entrepreneur will buy this business and make it their own as they will always be compared to what was if they try to emulate it.

                                  1. re: Poorboy

                                    have you ordered any pizza from DPH in the last 6 months? I'd like to hear how you think they compare to the good old days. Did you ever consider a career change? You could walk there and you know better than most how those pizza are supposed to taste!

                                    1. re: foodyDudey

                                      Hey FD, yes I was there and had twice in the past 6 months. Not the same. Really, I won't be back. There's just so much going on in the area that I have no inclination to do so. Chat soon.

                                      1. re: foodyDudey

                                        We love the pizza now...have been going for 25 years, was worried that it wouldn't be as good with the new owners but we thought it was terrific. Somebody on here complained that there wasn't as much cheese. I didn't find that at all. My DH thinks its even better.

                                        1. re: BIGeater100

                                          Still good char on there? That was some feedback I heard locally, that it wasn't quite the same in that respect. Will have to try for ourselves soon.

                                2. I walked by the other night and noticed his son has taken empty pizza boxes and lined them up all along the front window as a privacy screen or something.

                                  Has it always been like that? I wonder what that's all about?

                                  I mean, what are you hiding - is what I first thought.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: millygirl

                                    I've noticed it intermittently for the past 6 years I've been going.

                                    1. re: millygirl

                                      those boxes have always been there....they just go up and down as they use and replace them

                                    2. I understand from a friend in the neighbourhood, that Danforth Pizza House was purchased by a couple. Have any of you ordered any pizzas since the ownership change?

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: prima

                                        No I make my own more often now. I can have one made faster and cheaper than I can get one from there.

                                        1. re: foodyDudey

                                          Probably off topic, but do you use ready to go pizza dough from someplace like Jerry's Supermarket, or make your own?

                                          1. re: KitchenVoodoo

                                            I bought the ready made dough from Maselli's. They have two brands, I think the one I used was from "Nino D'Aversa". I remember it was a well known bakery. I can have two pizzas ready with 10 or 15 minutes of prep and then in the oven for ~15 mins @ 550F.

                                            I made pizza on two occasions in the last 10 days, as there is lots of fresh produce the stores and from my backyard.

                                        2. re: prima

                                          Walked by Monday night, and there was a big plastic tarp sign "50 Years of Experience", so it looks like someone is trying to make a go of it.

                                          I plan to drop in soon and order one to see how much it has changed.