Legendary Tony & Ann’s Pizza to reopen after 7 year hiatus

Back in the winter of 2002, I was driving back to Saugus after having  breakfast at a diner in New Hampshire (I do not recall which diner). I was travelling south on Rte. 3A in North Chelmsford (just north of Vinal Square) and decided to finally stop and photograph Tony & Ann’s Drive-in Pizza stand. I had been driving by this place for years and had always thought about documenting it with some photos but never acting upon it.

Tony & Ann’s Pizza sign, 2002 photo by Larry Cultrera

Tony & Ann’s Pizza was not a remarkable building by any means but just one of those mom & pop type places that seemed to have been around for ever. When I shot it on that overcast wintery morning I had no idea that the business would close by the end of that year. Now these photos I shot were not the best but considering the lighting, they were not bad.

Tony & Ann’s Pizza, 2002 photo by Larry Cultrera

Here is the history of Tony & Ann’s from their website (http://www.tonyandannspizza.com/   ………………………………….

1953 – Tony & Ann Privitera open The Princeton Creamery on Princeton Boulevard in Chelmsford, MA.  It was an Ice Cream stand that was originally part of The Princeton Lounge.  Soon after, Tony (a baker by trade), creates a recipe for a unique style of pizza.  Their customers sample it and as a result Tony and Ann’s Pizza is born.

1958 – Tony and Ann’s Pizza moves to it’s new home on Tyngsboro Road as a pizza-drive-in.

In the early 60’s Tony and Ann enclose an area to provide shelter to their customers during inclement weather thus creating the signature red & white facade that will be featured on a national televison series later on.

In the mid 70’s Tony and Ann’s places picnic tables around perimeter so their customers could enjoy pizza outside of their cars on pleasant sunny days.

In the early 80’s Tony and Ann’s move the picnic tables to the front of the pizzeria creating an open air dining room.

1998 – Tony and Ann’s is featured in 2 episodes of the popular animated televison show The Simpsons.

1999 – After 46 years of cooking his unique style of pizza and greeting generations of customers every weekend, co-founder Tony Privitera passes away in June. 

2002 – December 7, after nearly 50 years, Ann and her family retire from making pizza.

Tony & Ann’s Pizza, 2002 photo by Larry Cultrera

Within the last couple of years I posted 1 of my photos on Flickr and received a couple of comments, one from old friend Rich Beaubien, who said he missed Tony & Ann’s and another from Bob Philpot. Bob is a long-time fan of Tony & Ann’s Pizza and has a webpage dedicated as an homage to the establishment. His page is at http://www.gatogato.com/images/tonyandanns.html and features relevent links and info including a video that shows Tony & Ann’s on “The Simpsons”!
Bob asked if he could use my photo on his webpage and I told him he could. I also sent him the other 2 photos I shot as well.

Through Bob I learned how much people loved and really missed this place after it closed. It made me want to try the pizza and unfortunately, I could not. 

Well the story took a new turn 2 weeks ago when I noticed Charlie Terenzio, a friend on Facebook posted something about Tony & Ann’s reopening in a new location. I asked him about it and he sent a link and some other info. He also informed me that Tony & Ann’s was THE BEST PIZZA he had ever had.

I took a ride to shoot some photos of the new Tony & Ann’s Pizza which will be run by grandchildren of Tony & Ann and it is expected that the recipe for the pizza will remain the same.

The new Tony & Ann’s Pizza, 2009 photo by Larry Cultrera

The new Tony & Ann’s Pizza, 2009 photo by Larry Cultrera

I peeked inside and it looks like they have a little work ahead of them before the place is open but it is well on its way! I cannot wait to finally try a Tony & Ann’s Pizza! The new location is at 11 Broadway Road (Rte. 113) in Dracut, Mass.

12 thoughts on “Legendary Tony & Ann’s Pizza to reopen after 7 year hiatus

  1. Anthony – Yes, Ann is still living, and it is rumored that she will be may be at the new location on occasion. But mainly the business will be run by the grandchildren of Tony and Ann – who all used to work at the location in Chelmsford.

  2. I can’t wait… this was the BEST pizza I ever had. I used to go there all the time. I would always tell Tony to PLEASE open one in Hudson NH ….. but he always said “NO”.. with a smile of course… The pizza is very different than your average pizza. The sauce is kind of sweet and the pizza was always a little bit messy to pick up and eat……YUM!!!!

  3. Great news – the new shop in Dracut is open and ready for business. Drove by last Friday and there was not a parking spot in the lot open!! My dad & husband are going tonight to get us some pies. The mushroom pizza is by far the best pizza I have ever had!! Only open Thurs, Fri & Sat so get there early.
    Enjoy like I have since I was a kid.

  4. We used to have a place in New Hampshire. We stopped at the original Tony and Ann’s which was beside the Princeton Lounge. We followed them to the Tyngsboro Road location. Long after we sold our summer home, we continued to travel from Boston for the Best Pizza Ever. We just found out about the opening in Dracut and will be heading there this weekend. It will be well worth the ride.

    • Thanks for stopping by Pat! I have not been able to get there to try the pizza yet. We were there on the first day and it was too mobbed. From all reports, the pizza is as good as everyone remembers. Being that I have never had a Tony & Ann’s pizza, needless to say I am looking forward to see what it is like.

  5. I’m so happy you reopened my last pizza from you was years ago. I’m now living in North Carolina and I haven’t had any pizza as good as yours. I’ll be visiting my parents around Easter and will be stopping to get a large with extra cheese.

  6. I was born in Lowell and now live in Texas. We moved away before I was 10 (that’s many years ago now) and I remembered Tony and Ann’s pizza as the best I’ve ever had. Through the years every time I would visit my huge group of uncles, 1 aunt and cousins in Lowell and Chelmsford, I’d stop for a pizza. I was there this summer (’11) for a visit and saw Ann at the new Dracut location. What a treat! This Christmas, my wife surprised me with 2 boxes (6 pies) as my big gift. Yup, they ship frozen pies to you…best present ever! Thanks Angie! I’m on the site to order more and it’s only January 6th!

  7. I grew up in North Chelmsford Mass just down the street from Tony’s & Ann’s original location. I remember riding my bicycle as a child there every weekend. Moving away as a teen ager to NH I always missed their pizza. Now 32 years later, I live in Myrtle Beach SC but can close my eyes and remember the taste of the AWESOME pizza. I will make it a point to get back up there to their new location, and have some of the world changing pizza all over again. For those of you who have never had it, MY GOD, you’re doing yourself a serious in-justice. This pizza has a unique taste that you will always remember for the rest of your life. Trust Me !!!

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