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Quirky Pizzeria Defies Definition, Zoning Laws In Lodi

Walter Curioni has owned Curioni's since 1975, before that his father managed the store since 1945 and his grandfather opened the business in 1923.
Walter Curioni has owned Curioni's since 1975, before that his father managed the store since 1945 and his grandfather opened the business in 1923. Photo Credit: Arthur Augustyn
Curioni's circa 1920s
Curioni's circa 1920s Photo Credit: Arthur Augustyn

LODI, N.J. — Curioni's in Lodi is so old it predates zoning laws that would normally prevent a pizzeria from being built in the middle of a residential area.

"Everything [here] is non-conforming," Owner Walter Curioni said. "We were grandfathered into a lot of things."

Curioni's is located across from Wilson Elementary School in a residentially zoned part of town. The store itself is attached to a home where some of the Curioni family lives.

The store's various quirks make it difficult to sum up in an encompassing term. For most, Curioni's is simply part of the neighborhood.

"It’s word of mouth. We’ve been here so long," Curioni said.

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