OCEAN CITY - One of the families that helped found a pizza empire of sorts here on the Boardwalk is out of the business, but the cheese pies will not change.
"Nothing has changed except the sign," said Chuck Bangle, a co-owner of the former Mack & Manco Pizza, which as of Jan 1 will be called Manco & Manco Pizza.
The pizzeria, which includes three locations on the boards as well as one in Somers Point, was founded in 1956 by cousins Vincent Manco and Anthony Mackrone. Bangle, who married Manco's granddaughter Mary, said an amicable separation was made between the two families in June.
"The buyout took place at the end of June. We weren't going to change the sign then. By Jan. 1, we'll change it to Manco & Manco," Bangle said.
One Manco on the sign will represent Bangle and his wife, while the second Manco will be for Frank, the son of Vincent, and his wife, Kay Manco, who are both still involved in the business.
The website for the pizzeria and even the way workers answer the phone already reflect the change. The pizza is such a Boardwalk tradition that customers quickly noticed the change. Bangle said they even ship pizza to regular customers as far away as Washington state for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.
"We've been referred to as an iconic brand on the Ocean City Boardwalk," Bangle said.
Bangle said publicity over the change can only help business. He said regulars will rush to the Boardwalk next summer to make sure the pizza tastes the same. He said it will.
"Everything is the same. Same legendary pizza and same legendary service," Bangle said.
The buyout, according to Bangle, was "mutually agreed upon" between the two families. The Mack family still operates its own pizza parlors in Wildwood.
The Mack & Manco locations employ about 150 people in the summer and 30 in winter. One Boardwalk location on Ninth Street and the Somers Point business are open year-round.
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