NEAR WEST SIDE — Seven thick slices of pizza bread almost weren’t enough for Anthony Vitullo, who lives down the street from Scafuri Bakery and who had been waiting six years to stake his claim.
“It’s the best. We’ve been waiting for this place to be open for a very long time. You really can’t find pizza like this anymore,” he said.
The family-run Italian bakery at 1337 W. Taylor St. shut down in 2007 after owner Annette Mategrano (nee Scafuri), who lived over the bakery until she was in her 90s, retired.
Now, that same spot above the bakery belongs to Kelly Lynch, Mategrano’s 25-year-old great-great niece. Along with co-owner Michelle DiGiovanni-Harold, Mategrano's great-niece, the two have resurrected the bakery with hopes of bringing back the old traditions.
“There’s been a ton of people who came in. Old people from the neighborhood who remembered it. We ran out of all of the apple turnovers and strudels … and halfway through the day we made more and then we ran out of those again,” Lynch said.
On Thursday, the bakery’s second day open, latecomers were drifting in around 3 p.m., hoping to grab one more slice of Scafuri’s famous pizza bread or snag an apple turnover.
The pizza, turnovers, and butter chocolate glazed donuts are all original recipes, back by popular neighborhood demand. The cannoli is filled to order and you get your pick of chocolate chips or pistachios.
Lynch said people in the neighborhood made it clear that the old favorites had to make a comeback.
“I remember the pizza bread, so when I was tasting it I thought, ‘This tastes just like it did when I was a kid.’ And then we’ve had customers come in and say the same thing, which is really cool,” she said.
Lynch, who went to culinary school and loves a good loaf of bread, also has some new items to test on the neighbors.
Fig walnut rosemary fennel bread, zucchini olive oil cake, and ricotta pound cake also grace the cases at Scafuri’s. All are baked fresh daily in the bakery’s original oven.
They've added seating and now serve coffee and other drinks.
Scafuri’s is open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays. Turnovers are $2.95, a strudel log costs you $12.99, and arguably the city’s best pizza costs $3.50 per slice.
“I grew up eating Italian food. I love the Italian flavors, so I’ll just incorporate them all,” Lynch said.