A South-of-South eatery is bolstering its community reputation thanks to an ambitious new owner.
Due to a plethora of factors, many people dread heading to their places of employment, finding the grind frustrating and draining. Nick Apadula, six months into his role as the new owner of SouthSide Pizzeria, 917 S. 20th St. is not one those folks. “I can’t wait to come here because I absolutely love interacting with people!” the proprietor said recently from his South-of-South-located eatery. “When I’m cooking, too, I don’t see anything as work because this is what I do. This is my passion.”
Since May, the Lower Moyamensing resident has been revamping the site that had begun to lose its luster after more than two decades as a neighborhood presence. Fascinated with fresh ingredients, he has won consistent favor with his menu options, with SouthSide’s pizza selections, naturally, leading the way. No matter what the culinary request, people can rest assured Apadula and his staff will prepare it with the utmost care and consideration.
“If you take the time to prepare something and think about how the end result is going to be a huge reflection on your business and your work ethic, the odds are that you will end up with something great to give your customers,” the businessman said. “With other places, maybe you’re taking a gamble with what they’re going to give you. Here, I stand by my promise to be the best.”
Apadula has more than 27 years in the food preparation world. He credits Francoluigi’s, 1549 S. 13th St., and the Uncle Oogie’s location at 36 Snyder Ave. for his professional growth. Before he worked there, he learned a great deal about giving his all through his father, Vincenzo, who instilled in him an unwavering devotion to hard work and discipline and who soon will have a pizza named in his honor.
“He was huge on seeing a lesson in everything and being strong when you have setbacks,” Apadula said. “I carry that mentality with me every day.”
Along with SouthSide’s pizzas, the owner’s diligence comes through thanks to a number of mouthwatering menu components, including pasta dishes, Italian sandwiches, gyros, salads, steaks, wraps, hoagies, and seafood platters.
While enthused about helping sate the appetites of those who walk into his establishment or order takeout, Apadula especially enjoys the help he has been able to offer local organizations. Ralph Brooks Community Basketball League at Ralph Brooks Park, 20th and Tasker streets; St. Charles Borromeo Church, 902 S. 20th St.; Girard Academic Music Program, 2136 W. Ritner St.; and St. Monica Church, 2422 S. 17th St. are among the groups reaping the benefits of his kindness through various food-centric gestures.
“I just go about doing what I do because I enjoy knowing that people become happy when they eat our food,” he said of enhancing a commitment to excellence that he is passing along to his son, seven-year-old Enzo. “In my time here, that’s what I’ve been about and what I’ll continue to be about in my career.”