SADDLE BROOK, N.J. — Jerry Gencarelli of Little Falls considers himself just as much a resident of Saddle Brook as his hometown after owning Frank's Pizzeria for more than 20 years.
In many ways the Frank's in the Saddle Brook Mall remains the same since Gencarelli opened it in 1992.
"I keep the same ingredients, I have the same food," Gencarelli told Daily Voice. "I still do the same exact things I did before."
Some menu items reflect the changing times, though, such as the gluten-free pizza and pasta options.
Gencarelli said more and more people started to ask for it so he decided to make the change.
"There's a big demand for it," he said. "There's a market for it so we went that route."
The chicken francese remains the most popular item though, he said.
Gencarelli worked in construction before entering the food industry. He needed to find something easier on his back, he said, and always loved being around food so he opened Frank's two decades ago.
As a father of three, the Little Falls pizza-man said he likes to keep a family atmosphere, and a setting that's in between a restaurant and pizzeria.
The neighborhood helps too.
"Saddle Brook's a nice town, I enjoy Saddle Brook," he said. "It's a nice, middle-class town."
Tony Petro of Garfield said he first came to Frank's because he heard high praise for one particular dish.
"My friend told me all about this place," Petro said, "they told me about the cheesesteak pizza. So I took a chance."
One of the largest changes to Frank's came years ago when the Walmart came to the shopping center, the owner said. It didn't change the neighborly feel he has for his second-home, though.
"I know more people in Saddle Brook and they know me more than where I live," Gencarelli said. "I've become like a resident here now."
MORE INFO: Visit the pizzeria's website.