Uncle Joe’s: Reimagined Restaurant Opens In Hampton Bays

Uncle Joe’s Famous Pizzeria is an institution that has served millions of New York residents and tourists worldwide for over half a century. It’s one of the area’s oldest pizzerias and red sauce joints. Recently, the restaurant changed hands from Giuseppe Sciara to Hamptons Brands, led by Hampton Bays residents Scott and Tana Gerber.

The newly renovated space in Hampton Bays includes a nostalgic, 1960s Brooklyn-style slice shop and Uncle Joe’s Parlour, an intimate wine room with high ceilings and thousands of bottles on display. Diners will find original Long Island panko pizzas, classic New York-style pizzas, and Italian specialties, such as its famous vodka sauce dishes, parms, and the new dolci doughknots.

We caught up with the new owners to learn more.

You’ve reopened Uncle Joe’s in Hampton Bays. Can you tell us about the restaurant’s history?

Scott: Founded in 1968, Uncle Joe’s is one of Long Island’s oldest pizzerias and red sauce joints. The Hamptons Institution has served millions of New York residents and tourists from around the world for over half a century.

Tana: Uncle Joe’s Famous Pizzeria represents the American Dream realized. Our founder, Giuseppe Sciara, was born on June 29, 1940 in Sicily. He started working at age 8, picking olives and oranges in the sun-soaked fields of Scordia, saving every lira he could with one dream in mind — to move to America. In the winter of 1958, with less than ten cents to his name and lacking the ability to read, write, or speak English, Guiseppe embarked on his venture to America, passing through Ellis Island into New York — a journey that would ultimately make him a Long Island legend. In the 1960s, through apprenticeships and pure Sicilian grit, Guiseppe taught himself the meticulous art of pizza making, developing and perfecting his own original recipes. In 1968, Guiseppe opened the doors to his first pizzeria in Bay Shore, Long Island, and it quickly became a local hit. Building on this success, he expanded in the decades to follow, opening more pizzerias across Long Island, including a flagship location in the Hampton Bays. The rest, as they say, is history. As the years unfolded, drawn by Giuseppe’s magnetic warmth, locals and tourists began affectionately calling him “Uncle Joe” — a badge of honor he has cherished ever since.

How has the community responded over the past few weeks?

Tana: Wonderful. We feel incredibly supported by the local Hampton Bays community. As locals ourselves, we have made an effort to ensure Uncle Joe’s remains a community staple — family-friendly with great food at reasonable prices. Since our grand re-opening, we have had guests from Westhampton to Montauk, most of whom have their own warm memories and stories about the restaurant and Giuseppe.

Scott: It’s been heartwarming for people to share their praise and rave reviews on both our classics as well as the new menu additions.

You’re opening other locations across Long Island. Where else can we find Uncle Joe’s?

Scott: We have publicly announced new locations in Wading River and Miller Place. Both will be fully operational in April. In the coming weeks and months ahead, we will be announcing several new locations throughout Suffolk County that will double our size. We intend to meaningfully expand our footprint across Long Island by the end of 2026.

We love the 1960s Brooklyn-style slice shop and the wine room. Can you talk about the renovation process? What can diners expect when they walk in the door?

Tana: The full renovation took about eight weeks, and since the physical building’s interior hadn’t been touched since its initial construction, there was no shortage of surprises and challenges. Our favorite surprise came in the form of discovering an extra 12 feet of ceiling height in our Parlour whilst replacing ceiling tiles — what an unexpected delight to suddenly have a vast “blank canvas” space to work with. We choose to feature 3000 wine bottles in a speakeasy-esque environment. Unexpected and cavernous with high ceilings and chandelier lighting, it’s sure to be one of Hampton Bays’s best-kept secrets for a date night. The Parlour is experiential and meant to make patrons feel they are being transported to another place.

Scott: The pizzeria portion of the restaurant is a nostalgic throwback to the family-friendly slice shop in your neighborhood growing up — an ode to New York’s historic pizzerias, with a bit of Hamptons flair.


Let’s talk about the Doughknots. How did you come up with this fun dessert concept?

Scott: The Doughknots are a wonderful play on various pastries. They combine the best of many worlds: zeppoles, beignets, Italian knots, and churros all wrapped into one delightful dessert — and of course, the seasonal dipping sauces like mascarpone and dulce de leche take them to the next level.

Tana: Our inspiration was simple and three-fold. First, we wanted a dessert that was delicious. Second, we wanted to pay tribute with an homage to traditional Sicilian pastries. Third, and most importantly, we wanted to foster a communal experience. Whether you’re on a date night or a family night out, sharing food and memories go hand in hand at Uncle Joe’s.

How has the menu been updated, and which items are the same?

Scott: Uncle Joe’s is one of the first pizzerias to ever use Panko in Long Island. Our crispy panko crust made Joe Sciara a Long Island legend — and his signature Panko pies will never change. Longtime fans will always be able to enjoy Uncle Joe’s Italian classics that have been great since 1968, such as our signature parms, vodka sauce dishes, and Sicilian chicken orzo soup.

Tana: Some of our new menu items include our Dolci Doughknots, our top-selling hot honey prosciutto and Hamptons white pies, and our Calabrian chile original wings. By popular request, we have also added two new types of pie styles to choose — classic New York-style and gluten-free.

What are a few of your favorite menu items?

Scott: I’m old school at heart. The cheese slice is what defines the quality of a pizzeria. I think our cheese slice is best of breed. Simple. Delicious. It’s my absolute favorite thing on the menu. That said, our Doughknots are a close second!

Tana: Hands down, our parms are perfection — evenly seasoned with a crispy breaded coating accompanied by pasta and Uncle Joe’s famous red sauce. Heaven.

Can you tell us about Uncle Joe’s Social Club and how to join?

Scott: Uncle Joe’s Social Club is our free loyalty program, offering members a free pizza pie every year on their birthdays, a $20 catering gift card for every $100 spent on catering orders, free gelato with every meal for kids ages 10 and younger, and other members-only benefits. We also give back to the local communities we serve with Uncle Joe’s Neighborhood, our philanthropic program. We give back to local nonprofits, charitable causes, and public schools through gift cards and gift card donations, and in-store fundraisers. You can visit UncleJoes.com to learn more about both programs.

Jessica Mackin-Cipro


Jessica Mackin-Cipro is an editor and writer from the East End of Long Island. She has won numerous NYPA and PCLI awards for journalism and social media. She was previously the Executive Editor of The Independent Newspaper.

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