OCEAN CITY — The façade outside of Mack & Manco Pizza on the Boardwalk was unchanged Saturday. But from the shop’s website and the way its staff answered the phone, the well-known pizzeria is apparently about to undergo a major change.
“Manco & Manco, pick up or delivery?” the voice answered.
And the neon sign above the pizzeria’s Somers Point location confirmed that “Mack” had been replaced with another “Manco.”
“There’s no Mack? What happened to Mack? We want to know where Mack went!” said a shocked Dottie Drake, 60, of Seaville, before taking her young granddaughters into the store at 920 Boardwalk. “That’s their favorite pizza place.”
But when reached by phone Saturday, Chuck Bangle — Mack & Manco co-owner and son-in-law of owners Frank and Kay Manco — said that he would not comment until after 10 a.m. on Monday morning.
In 1956, Frank Manco's late father, Vincent Manco, and the late Anthony Mack came from Trenton to open the first Mack & Manco Pizza store on the Boardwalk in Ocean City.
The pair opened a second Ocean City location a few years later, and a third location was opened on the Boardwalk in the late 1980's. The Mack family also operated other pizzerias, including Mack's Pizza in Wildwood, over the years.
And the shop’s website offered little additional explanation, because it had been replaced with a white screen and green text reading “Coming Soon” and a link to an under-construction website for Manco & Manco Pizza.
“Mack and Manco’s is now Manco & Manco Pizza!” the one-page website read before continuing lower on the page. “Mack and Manco’s menu may have changed over the years, but one thing has never changed at Manco & Manco’s — their dedication to providing their customers with the freshest, hottest, crispiest and tastiest pizza possible. An Ocean City tradition you can always count on.”
Meanwhile Manco & Manco Pizza started new Facebook and Twitter accounts on Nov. 7.
“I’m shocked,” Linwood resident Angie Waters, 37, said while walking on the Boardwalk with her three children. “I’ve been coming here my whole life, but this is the first I’m hearing about it.”
“I like the old name better,” said Jackson Waters, 8. “But as long as the pizza still tastes the same, I’m OK with it.”
Ocean City Linda Musial takes her grandsons to the pizzeria about once a week and said she did not expect that tradition to change.
“They can change their name to whatever they want,” she said. “But I think people are still going to call it “Mack and Manco.’“
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