Interview with Jayson Anastasi (Owner of Nicolosi’s Pizzeria and Restaurant)
and Dylan Walenciak (Manager of Nicolosi’s Pizzeria and Restaurant).
On Saturday, April 23, 2022, I had a project to work on with Joe Scrizzi and Photographer Barry McMickle. I found myself in Easton, Pa at the Rental Barn for a photoshoot, and during the shoot Joe Scrizzi headed out Nicolosi’s, a Pizzeria and Restaurant about two minutes away from the Rental Barn. Nicolosi’s owner, Jayson has the shop decked out with Horror memorabilia. To quote, “Goodfellas”, “as far back as I can remember” I’ve never been to a horror-themed pizza shop. I’ve visited Jekyll and Hyde in New York, I’ve seen so many fascinating places with some horror collectibles, but this place is an entire conversation starter. I’m always intrigued when I find places that have some kind of horror theme and of course Haunts and haunted houses are my mecca, a happy place in a world filled with chaos and stress. The happy moments come with friends and family along the way. I met the Manager, Dylan and the Owner Jayson. Jayson took over the shop, he has two daughters, and he’s an avid horror fan. He shared with me that his favorite scary movie is JAWS. We had a conversation surrounded by a wall full of awesome posters including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Creepshow, a Michael Myers stand-up, a Misfits mini-flag, Halloween decor, and more. You can see Jayson and Dylan’s enthusiasm for not only what they do but for the customers, the great service provided and the love they put in the food.
Nicolosi’s Pizzeria is amazing. Jayson, this place is just so cool. How did this idea manifest for you?
J.A.- I’m forty-nine years old, I grew up with horror all my life. I opened this shop twenty-two years ago. Forks Township was very conversative, and there came a time where I said, it’s time to put out things that are different in this area. I used to go to The World-Famous Jekyll and Hyde in New York, and I loved the theme. I wanted to theme this restaurant with what I liked, instead of being cautious about what everyone else likes. I have two daughters, nine and twelve years old. They love horror. My house is the same as this. My first horror movie was JAWS, back when they put the speaker on the car.
How long has Nicolosi’s been here?
J.A.- We have been here twenty-two years at this location. I wanted to make a statement.
I found out about this place because of The Lehigh Valley Restaurants page, and because of Joe Scrizzi. I was so excited when I saw this place. I have been to some of the coolest haunts, haunted houses, haunted prisons, horror-themed conventions but I have yet to see such a cool pizzeria. Is this your actual collection? The awesome Michael Myers stand-up, the mini-Misfits flag. The posters.
J.A.- This is some of my collection. I keep adding every year.
I have some of the best friends ever that I met because of horror. People weren’t as accepting years ago but it’s a beautiful art form.
J.A.- Yes, I agree.
What do you want to say to everyone that visits Nicolosi’s?
J.A.- I would say, I would like you to reminisce on your past movie experiences, and don’t judge when you come in. We’re not a cult, we’re more like a museum, and we sell awesome food. Everything in here is a little reminder. Every poster in here you can relate to.
Do you have a favorite out of the posters or are they all kind of your favorites?
J.A.- These are pretty much all my favorites. Creepshow is my favorite. This is the one movie that I can look back on and say this is the one my father let me watch. I remember him guiding me through it.
When I saw this place and Joe Scrizzi told me about it. I was just so excited. What is your favorite aspect of combining food and horror?
J.A.- I’ve been taught by the best which was the Nicolosi family. So, I’m incorporating that with my favorite movies.
Thank you so much Jayson, and thank you so much Dylan.
J.A.- Thank you.
Make Sure to Check out Nicolosi’s Pizzeria and Restaurant on May 13, 2022. I spoke with Dylan and he revealed there will be something special happening.