By DAN PARSONS; Staff Writer
Cosmopolitan may not be a word many people often associate with Washington, but two well-known people in the city hail from Sicily, an island off Italy.
Vincenzo and Antonio Cilluffo, owners of Frank’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant on East Fifth Street, do a lot more in the community than toss pizza dough and cook pasta.
Vincenzo Cilluffo — Vinnie, to his friends — has coached soccer at several schools in Beaufort County, including P.S. Jones Middle School and Terra Ceia Christian School, for more than a decade.
Vinnie Cilluffo said he’s been coaching so long that grown men, married and with families, often show up at his restaurant and greet him as coach.
But Beaufort County hasn’t always been the brothers’ home in America. Vinnie Cilluffo immigrated to Philadelphia in 1976. Antonio Cilluffo, also known as Tony, joined his brother nine years later. Though he came to America after his brother, Tony Cilluffo obtained his U.S. citizenship two years ago. His brother has not yet been naturalized.
0002000006F5000005516EF,But the pair found it difficult to make a living in Pennsylvania.
When friends in eastern North Carolina contacted the two to run a Washington satellite store for Frank’s Pizza in Greenville, the two visited Washington to determine if they liked the city.
But managing someone else’s restaurant wasn’t enough for the brothers. They agreed to manage the restaurant under the condition they could buy it one day. They did just that, setting up shop at Washington Square Mall in 1986.
Frank’s Pizza served Washington from that location for 10 years before moving to John Small Avenue, near Eastern Elementary School, for another decade. The restaurant has been at its current location for almost two years.
Each brother is married with two children. The brothers’ two sisters and mother live in Italy. They have visited North Carolina several times, the brothers said.
They have worked 20 years without a vacation, the brothers joked. They said that other than the responsibilities of running a restaurant, they rarely feel the need to leave Washington.
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