The black-and-white photo of a man wearing a white apron with his right hand about to open a pizza oven is the first image guests see as they enter.

It’s more than a picture.

The image is of Giovanni Mineo Sr., who founded the family business – Mineo’s Pizza House in Squirrel Hill – more than six decades ago.

The newest slice of the Mineo’s pie will debut on Monday – Mineo’s Pizza House Allison Park, which opens at 11 am in Hampton.

“We always make pizza the way my dad did,” said Mineo’s son Dominic Mineo, who co-owns the business with his brother Giovanni Mineo Jr. “We use the best quality products. The dough is made fresh every day. We grate our own cheese and prepare all the toppings. We make his sauce recipe. We will never change the way we do things, because my dad instilled that in us. ”

Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review

Shawn Filson prepares a slice of pizza in the kitchen of Mineo’s Pizza House Allison Park in Hampton.

Giovanni Mineo Sr. crafted the first pie by hand, kneaded the dough with his own muscles, grated the signature blend of cheeses, prepped each topping carefully and created a secret sauce.

The freshest ingredients of Mineo’s family recipe continue to be used today, in the original Squirrel Hill shop that opened in 1958, as well as the Mt. Lebanon store, which opened in 1994. Longtime employee Gary Robinson is the manager in the South Hills location.

For years, customers have asked about a store in the North Hills, Dominic Mineo said. So when it came time to open that third location, the common thread remains – Giovanni Mineo Sr.’s dedication to customers.

He built a strong foundation so he and his wife Rose could raise their sons and daughter, Josie (Mineo) Rizzuto.

He paved the way for future generations, which is what the brothers have continued for their children with the Hampton restaurant.

They held several soft openings, welcoming family and friends around the table for a meal in true Italian fashion.


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune-Review

The John’s Special at Mineo’s Pizza House Allison Park in Hampton is a pie inspired by founder Giovanni Mineo Sr. It has homemade sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions and green peppers with homemade pizza sauce and signature cheese.

One couple – Deb and Doug Whitman of Hampton – brought a bottle of wine as a celebratory gift. They used to live in Squirrel Hill, where Doug Whitman grew up, close to the pizza shop.

They ordered the John’s Special, also known as the Giovanni Mineo Sr. Special – a five-toppings-for-the-price-of-four pie with homemade sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, sauce and the signature cheese.

They shared an appetizer of wings with buffalo sauce.

“It’s awesome,” said Deb Whitman, on Thursday. “We’ve been waiting for this. It’s the best pizza in the entire city. ”

The newest location is housed in the former Tuscany Inn. A long time ago, it was a hunting lodge.

It’s been three years in the making because of delays from the pandemic. The original paperwork was signed on May 5, 2019.


Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review

JD Mineo works pizza dough in the kitchen of Mineo’s Pizza House Allison Park in Hampton during a soft opening on April 28.

The 133-year-old building has been totally renovated. It has two full-service dining rooms, a 22-seat bar serving Italian wines, cocktails and a variety of craft beers. There is a takeout window and the ovens have the capacity to cook 48 small pizzas at a time.

The floor design is open with lots of natural light. There are three big-screen televisions. The space is 4,600 square feet.

They plan to host wine dinners, private parties and pizza-making classes as well as other events.

The menu will include everything from pizza to pasta to wings. The shop launched Mineo’s beer, a hazy IPA, in collaboration with Helltown Brewing from Export, in March.

It’s named “Whatsamatta You,” a famous saying of Giovanni Mineo Sr.

Giovanni Mineo Sr. came to America in 1955 from a small town in Sicily. He initially worked for a huckster before making his own way in the pizza business.


Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review

JD Mineo works pizza dough in the kitchen of Mineo’s Pizza House Allison Park in Hampton during a soft opening on April 28.

Co-owners of the newest location are Elissa Mineo Filson and her husband Shawn Filson, her brother JD Mineo and her cousin Giovanni Mineo III.

“It has been enjoyable to watch the business expand,” Shawn Filson said. “It’s like watching one of your children grow up.”

Various areas of the city were explored to house the newest spot, but this area was chosen because the brothers grew up in nearby Shaler.

“My dad was a humble guy who had a love of pizza and cared about supporting his family,” said Giovanni Mineo Jr. “He worked really hard and would be proud of what we are doing, and pleased we are expanding the business for the next generation.”

It’s been a challenging time opening a restaurant during a pandemic, Giovanni Mineo III said. They are looking forward to welcoming new customers from the suburbs as well as seeing regular diners from Squirrel Hill and Mt. Lebanon come out to see the new place, he added.

“We are so happy to bring the vision of my grandfather to another location with his name to carry on his legacy,” Giovanni Mineo III said. “It’s surreal. It’s really happening. A lot of hard work went into this. ”

Mineo’s Pizza House Allison Park is located at 2684 Wildwood Road in Hampton. Hours are 11 am to 11 pm Sunday through Thursday, 11 am to midnight Friday and Saturday.

Details: 412-755-2121 or

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, or via Twitter .

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