DiCarlo’s Pizza moves to new Vienna location

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton David Hartshorn makes a calzone with all ingredients prepared fresh daily at the 1403 Grand Central Ave. location.

VIENNA — Three years after taking over the DiCarlo’s Pizza franchise, Shannon and David Hartshorn moved the brick oven pizza the company is known for to a new location along Grand Central Avenue.

In July they moved from South Gate Shopping Center in Parkersburg to 1403 Grand Central Ave. in Vienna, said Shannon Hartshorn.

DiCarlo’s Pizza began in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1945 and from there it has slowly grown the franchise, said David Hartshorn.

For the Hartshorns the restaurant business is a second career.

“We both used to be respiratory therapists at Camden Clark,” Shannon said. “When the opportunity came up to purchase this franchise in south Parkersburg in the fall of 2014 we knew it was right. We remodeled that location.”

However, three years later they decided to move to a different location.

“We had an overwhelming request to move north,” David said. “A lot of our best customers were on this side of town.”

“About every third customer through the door would say we love this, but we don’t get over here very often,” Shannon said.

David said the old location was located in an area notorious for slow and backed-up traffic.

“It’s congested through there,” David said.

While they may have moved from the south side to Vienna, they still deliver to north and south Parkersburg and to Davisville, covering all of their old delivery routes.

Shannon said there are differences between the two locations.

“It’s more of a homey feel here,” she said. “We remodeled it and did the construction in July and we’re really pleased with the atmosphere, how it turned out and what we’ve been able to do with this space.”

“Being a standalone helps more than being in a shopping center,” David said. “You get kind of lost there but here it feels more like a restaurant where you are coming here for this rather than catching someone in a shopping center.”

Shannon added the company wanted them to have a more visible location and it also has more seating — indoor and outdoor.

What sets them apart from most other pizza places, they said, is their pizzas and other items are a craft, handmade at the restaurant.

“Everything we use is licensed from DiCarlo’s Pizza, from the pepperoni to the cheese, to the sauce,” he said. “We make our dough fresh in-house every day, grind our own cheese every day, make our own sauce– everything is handmade and hand-stretched fresh, nothing is pre-made. It’s been the same recipe since 1945.”

Even if a customer wants just a slice or two, they can make them that way.

Shannon said there are two granddaughters of the founder who control the company. She said one, Anna, controls the franchising.

“We work closely with Anna and her son David,” she said. “Her grandfather started the company.”

As for the future they are looking at additional locations, David said.

“We may explore the south side market again with a smaller delivery, carry-out location,” he said. “There are a lot of markets in the Mid-Ohio Valley we’d like to try.”

David said they are also considering an expansion of their menu.

“We want to add more of a dessert menu, we want to do Gelato, and hand dipped ice cream,” David said. “We’d want to stay true to the original recipe, just expand on it. Our pizza will remain the same, it has been that way since 1945.”

Shannon said they have added some items with the move to Vienna.

“We have craft beer on tap. A lot of people don’t know that,” she said. “We use West Virginia Big Timber IPA, out of Elkins. We have the staples as well with bottled beer and draft.

“We are so much more than pizza.”

Shannon said the pepperoni rolls and calzones are their biggest sellers and the pizzas are made two ways, one is with melted cheese and the other is DiCarlo’s style, with cheese added to the top after it is pulled out of the oven.

“Fifty percent of our customer base prefers we melt it, like it is done traditionally,” she said. “We are not conveyer belt pizza, it’s all made to order.”

“It’s a craft pizza,” he said. “With very high-end, upscale toppings.”

DiCarlo’s is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.