NANUET, N.Y. -- Sometimes it's best not to change things, especially if it smells -- and tastes -- like the pizza that has been coming out of the brick oven at Martio's Olé Time Pizza Parlour in Nanuet since 1958.
You first experience the smell when you walk in the door, just before you see the bubbly cheese, the spices, and even the love that goes into each pizza and pasta dish created at the restaurant that has been the life of the Colandrea family for almost 60 years.
The Nanuet institution was opened by Frank "Martio'" Colandrea in Spring Valley, in 1958 and moved to Nanuet in the early 70's with his wife Lois and five children.
Today, the restaurant is run by Frank Jr., and his wife Cindy, said his mother, Lois Colandrea who explains how in the early days she and her late husband worked hard to make the restaurant a success.
"In the beginning, some of the recipes were made up by Frank and some he stole from me," Lois said with a laugh. "He had this opportunity and just grabbed it and we have been making pizza every day since."
Located in a historic building that once housed the area's library, barbershop, and grocery store, Martio's offers customers an authentic, true-to-the-community dining experience.
A lot of the decor has been collected from around the world; with an actual station light pole from Grand Central Station (circa early 20th Century), a ticket booth from a local historic theater, and Rockland County's first wood-burning custom-built brick oven imported from Italy.
"At Martio's, we bake the brick oven until the pies are crisp, aromatic and slightly charred from the sweet burning wood," said Lois.
Frank Jr. said they are all working hard to keep the tradition alive by using the recipes and keeping the quality top-notch.
"This is a great community and they have supported us for years so we want to do right by them by offering the best we can," Frank Jr. said.
The restaurant, he said, is also a favorite with local law enforcement and firefighters.
"That's when you know it's good," he laughs.
Cindy Colandrea said she has worked at the restaurant for more than 30 years since she met Frank Jr. at Spring Valley High School.
"We are kind of repeating history by running the business and being here every day just like his parents," Cindy said.
Frank, who likes to call Cindy "his chick," agrees that they are carrying on the tradition.
But it's not just family that remains the same, so do the customers, Cindy said.
"We will have old timers come in and tell us they remember when a slice was 25 cents," she said. "And we have lots of regulars who have been coming in since when we were in Spring Valley. It's nice."
Martio's is located at 171 Main St. in Nanuet.