Bocce Club Pizza History
Running the most successful pizzeria in Western New York wasn’t even a dream for Dino Pacciotti when he returned from the Second World War and began work as an accountant for General Mills. Dino, who was born in Buffalo to Italian immigrants in 1922, had spent his war service years as a court reporter at the Nuremberg trials. His travels led him to the homeland of his parents, where he renewed his experience with Italian traditions like bocce ball, pizza pies and other dishes.
Eager to get ahead after the war, Dino took a part-time job in addition to his day job at a bar on Hickory Street called Bocce’s. Many of Buffalo’s World War II veterans gathered there to participate in one of their favorite pastimes, bocce ball. Dino and his sister, Melvina Sacco, soon saw a future at Bocce’s. They purchased the bar in 1946 and began serving sandwiches and their favorite Italian foods. The bar developed quite a following, in part due to the tasty pizza snacks Dino created.
Innovations Spur Growth
Full of the entrepreneurial spirit, Dino introduced pizza packaged for take-out in corrugated boxes in 1955. Young families and college students welcomed the convenience, affordability and great taste. In 1958, Bocce Club Pizza moved to a larger location on Clinton Street, and opened a second location on Bailey Ave in 1959.
In 1978, Dino Pacciotti passed away, leaving the business in the hands of his capable family.
In the mid 1980s, Bocce Club included wings and subs on the menu, and added delivery service. In addition to being the first in Buffalo to offer take-out pizza, Bocce’s also was among the first to sell half-baked pizza for those who wanted fresh-cooked pies on their own timetable. Bocce Club continued its growth in popularity.
Bocce Club Pizza continued to flourish, opening the Hopkins Road location in 1988. As sole owner, Jim (Dino’s son), continues the Bocce tradition, using the same recipes, ingredients and suppliers his father used when he began the business back in 1946.
A Buffalo Tradition Since 1946
June 14, 1942
Dino goes off to war.
June 14, 1945
When he gets back, he works part-time for Bocce Club and gets a job at General Mills as an accountant.
June 14, 1946
Dino Pacciotti and his sister Melvina Sacco purchase the Bocce Club and start developing pizza.
June 14, 1955
Dino takes a risk and quits job at General Mills to work full-time at Bocce
June 14, 1958
Hickory Street closes, Clinton Store opens
June 14, 1959
Bailey Ave. store opens
June 14, 1966
Bailey Ave. store existing brick structure is built and the old wooden structure is torn down
June 14, 1978
Dino Pacciotti dies on October 19th The Pacciotti family continues to run the Bailey Store while the Sacco family runs Clinton St.
June 14, 1983
Bailey store remodels with wood front
June 14, 1988
Pacciotti family opens Hopkins Rd. store
June 14, 1996
Bocce celebrates 50 years in business!
June 14, 2009
Bocce on Bailey Ave. remodels with new stucco front and celebrates 50 years at Bailey Ave. location
July 1, 2017
Bocce Pizza teams up with InVue Digital and launches new website with online ordering functionality for nationwide delivery