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Bocce Club Pizza opening in downtown Buffalo – for real this time

Bocce Club Pizza is coming back to Buffalo after all, with a seven-days-a-week store in the heart of downtown.

In October, at the corner of Delaware Avenue and West Chippewa Street, Bocce’s pizza will be returning to the city of its birth, said owner Jim Pacciotti.

The lease is signed and the checks have been delivered.

“We’re looking at getting up and running by Oct. 1, so that people can get Bocce pizza and watch football,” he said.

The restaurant at 235 Delaware Ave., next to Starbucks, was previously Souvlaki Fast. The corner has a small parking lot.

Earlier this year, Pacciotti abandoned plans to reopen a former Bocce site on Clinton Street after a rezoning issue cropped up. This time he’s sure.

Now, barring calamity, before the snow flies, Buffalo should have its first Bocce pies since 2011, when the Clinton Street store closed.

In 1959, Jim’s father Dino opened the Bailey Avenue location, which Pacciotti operates today, along with a store at 1614 Hopkins Road in East Amherst.

Bocce Club Pizza with well-done pepperoni, no trim. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Original Bocce's Pizza, operated by Jim’s cousin, Frank Sacco, at 8214 Transit Road, Amherst, closed earlier this year.

A Buffalo location is “something I've been trying to do for a little while,” Pacciotti said. “I can't wait for this opportunity.”

When it opens, the pizza fans of Buffalo will have a new heavyweight contender for their lunchtime two-slice-combo budgets. He is contemplating adding late-night service but hasn't decided if Bocce will serve the bar crowd, he said.

As at other locations, Bocce will have its own delivery service in the downtown area, Pacciotti said.

[RELATED: Bocce Club buys Clinton Street property | Bocce cools on Clinton Street after zoning issue]

Like the others, this restaurant will be takeout, though he might add a few tables outside for people to eat at, like the Bailey Avenue flagship store, he said.

Most importantly, the menu remains the same: pizza, wings, fingers, subs, salads.

“I don't foresee me changing anything,” said Pacciotti. “We’ve been around 73 years, and you know the old saying: ‘If it ain't broke, don't fix it.’ ”

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