The pizzeria opening at 243 Glen Cove Ave. in Sea Cliff isn't what customers might be used to: no slices, no grated cheese and practically no wait for a pie.
It's pizza made more in the Italian tradition. The smallest denomination is a personal pie, and sizes go up from there. The pies bake in about three minutes, said owner Mike Napoli.
"Anyone can make pizza but not everyone can cook in this oven," he said. That's because it heats to between 2,000 and 3,000 degrees, coal-fired and using open flame.
"It's a unique way of cooking," said Napoli.
It's the same oven used in the two other Grimaldi's. The popular bistro is located on Front Street under the Brooklyn Bridge and in Garden City. Those locations are owned by the Cioli family, friends of the Napoli's.
"People keep calling about Sea Cliff, asking when it's going to open," said a bartender at the Garden City location.
Napoli got involved with the Cioli's business after Frank Cioli's son, Russell, owner of the Garden City restaurant, passed away of a heart attack.
After a career on Wall Street, Mike Napoli yearned for the restaurant business he once knew and wanted something to give his two sons.
A former manager at Old Gerlich's and the Wayside Inn in Glen Head, Napoli developed a fondness for restaurant life.
"I grew up in the business and I loved it," he said. The restaurant is located in the building Napoli frequented when it was Dotty Baker's Deli more than 20 years ago.
His family has strong roots in Sea Cliff. Two days before the shop's opening, three generations of Napoli men bustled around inside getting things ready -- two generations, actually. John Napoli, who built his family's Sea Cliff home in 1958, watched the commotion from a seat by the front door. John, Mike and Mike's two sons are all graduates of North Shore High School.
Napoli's sons, Christopher and Casey, will manage the restaurant. The pies will be created with fresh ingredients made in-house, from the dough to the sauce to the mozzarella.
The Grimaldi's grand opening is Friday at 5 p.m. The restaurant will open regularly at 5 p.m. for dinner.
Editor's Note: The original version of this article stated that Frank Cioli owned both other Grimaldi's locations. Russell Cioli owned the Garden City restaurant, which is now owned by his wife.