Founding-family member to reopen Astoria Pizza and Pasta

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Astoria Pizza and Pasta, a long standing favorite among College and University students in Brandon, and one of the city’s most popular family restaurants, is set to reopen with the same old country family recipes and guiding principles, GM and Owner Toula Paras-Tarr tells  Astoria Pizza and Pasta will be located at 1630 Park Ave, which in the past has been the home to both Gulliver’s Grill and Blu.

Toula Paras-Tarr: Astoria Pizza and Pasta GM & Owner (click to enlarge)

Toula is the daughter of Steve & Barb Paras.  Her parents, now since retired, will serve as consultants on the new project.  Toula wants to ensure that the food they put out each day is “exactly the same as it was when the restaurant was located at the corner of 26th and Victoria Ave”. To this day people tell Toula that they still crave Astoria’s signature pizza “The Astoria Royal”, a pizza loaded with tomato sauce, mushrooms, salami,  cheese, ham, pepperoni, bacon, green peppers and onions.

Hoping for an April 1 launch,  Toula said that for the first month of operation they will only be offering/selling pizza.  During this initial phase the pizza be made available exclusively via delivery (717-5555).  In the weeks that follow they intend to slowly introduce more of the popular menu items from the original Astoria menu like the handcrafted pastas, subs and salads.

According to Toula, they would like to have the dining room open to the public within 2-2.5 months of the initial launch, at which point they will be hosting a job fair to help staff the licensed (beer & wine) dining room.

Additional future business plans call for the restaurant to start integrating in several menu items from the Gulliver’s Grill menu.  While Gulliver’s had a rather extensive menu selection, Toula said they will look to carry some of the most popular, and requested, menu items from that menu like the signature soups, desserts, and mains.

Toula, who started as a dishwasher in the family restaurant at age 12, is extremely excited and passionate about the opportunity and she invites all former Astoria patrons to come check out the new dining room once open.