Rocky DePiro knew it used to be time.
DePiro, 68, longtime proprietor of Good friend-Mino’s Italian Village, closed the industry doorways Saturday and headed into retirement.
“That is Good friend-Mino’s sixty fifth yr and my forty fifth yr. It’s time to retire,” DePiro mentioned. He just lately offered the industry to 33 on MAC, which plans to open there someday in early 2024.
DePiro knew from a tender age that he sought after to paintings for the relatives industry began in 1958 through his father, Rocco DePiro Sr., and uncle, Joseph DePiro.
“I knew this used to be what I used to be going to do. I set to work right here on the age of 12,” DePiro mentioned. “It used to be the relatives industry. Issues have been beginning to take off, and I simply sought after to be a part of it.”
DePiro fondly recollects his father and uncle.
“They have been two guys born of immigrant oldsters, raised right through the Despair and served their nation in Global Struggle II. They were given employed through the railroad and have been at all times getting laid off,” he mentioned. “They’d a really perfect thought and a recipe and sought after to advertise.”
The brothers began at thirteenth Street and sixteenth Boulevard, borrowing $500 from their older brother Frank and opening the industry.
Rocky was proprietor of Good friend-Mino’s — named for his older sister Pauline — in 1978. The unique location closed in 2015. The present location, 2206 7th Ave., at the beginning New York Bakery, opened in 1982. Good friend-Mino’s had a couple of different native places over time.
Good friend-Mino’s was an Altoona establishment, Mayor Matt Pacifico mentioned.
“I at all times went there. Rocky and his relatives constructed an incredible industry over a number of many years, it’s like an Altoona establishment,” Pacifico mentioned.
Good friend-Mino’s was a meeting position after athletic occasions.
“Neil (Rudel) would carry folks right here after the Corridor of Reputation dinners, the entire celebrities and dignitaries,” DePiro mentioned.
“I’d at all times take Stan Savran over after the Corridor of Reputation dinners. Stan at all times favored chatting with Rocky,” mentioned longtime buddy Ted Beam. “As soon as you were given to grasp him, he didn’t overlook you. He used to be no longer afraid to percentage his evaluations. He used to be an excessively personable man,”
“George Paterno used to be right here. A variety of sports activities figures. Pass judgement on D. Brooks Smith was once an ordinary,” DePiro mentioned. “Now we have had 9 legal professionals who labored for us as their first process. Now we have had docs and others who went on to achieve success industry folks. We at all times loved seeing them change into a success.”
Good friend-Mino’s presented a complete menu, however its signature dish used to be its pizza, made with a unique relatives recipe.
“This can be a nice tasting pizza sauce. Our sauce doesn’t come up with heartburn. It’s been round for 65 years, so it should be first rate. We use no preservatives. Now we have by no means modified or deviated from the unique sauce recipe or dough,” DePiro mentioned. “Our dough recipe is understated … We make it recent on a daily basis. … I by no means ate a sequence pizza that may examine with a excellent unbiased.”
Good friend-Mino’s consumers was like relatives.
“A large number of our consumers have been pals, it’s like part of your relatives. It’s been a really perfect atmosphere,” mentioned Rocky’s spouse and longtime industry spouse, Patty.
Tom Ardrey were a buyer for over 50 years.
“It had a really perfect setting. It used to be just like the Cheers of Altoona, everyone knew everyone, a really perfect family-oriented position. It used to be a comforting and protected position to move. It is going to be overlooked,” Ardrey mentioned. “Rocky had a coarse look, however he’s a really nice comfortable man at middle. He used to be at all times a worrying individual. Rocky has been an excellent buddy for years.”
Good friend-Mino’s has had many longtime workers akin to Donna Cooney, who served as supervisor for almost 40 years, and Sylvia Foor, who labored on the industry for greater than 40 years.
“He used to be nice to paintings for; this is the reason I stayed so long as I did,” Cooney mentioned.
In spite of his heavy workload, DePiro, a 1973 Altoona Space Top Faculty graduate and soccer participant for mythical trainer Earl Strohm, discovered time to offer again thru training.
He began training within the Altoona Parochial League when he used to be 21. He then moved directly to lend a hand trainer the Bishop Guilfoyle rookies crew. He used to be really useful through the past due John Conlon, who were a rival trainer within the Parochial League.
“He known as me. We weren’t the most efficient of pals when training towards every different … however he requested me to be the road trainer,” DePiro mentioned.
He then joined the group of workers at Altoona beneath trainer Ed Dalton.
“My buddy Tom Bussman referred me to Dalton. With out an utility I used to be employed at Altoona. I used to be at Altoona from 1994 to 2003,” DePiro mentioned. “We had some luck. In 1997, we beat Moeller, it used to be an unbelievable night time. This position used to be packed after the sport.”
“He used to be a very good trainer, he took it very critically and labored exhausting at training. The ones children have been , they was higher folks and higher gamers having been coached through him,” Bussman mentioned.
Tom Palfey additionally were given to grasp DePiro as a member of Dalton’s training group of workers.
“He used to be so intense. He used to be one of the most best possible line coaches we ever had right here. He coached a couple of all-state linemen and we had a couple of thousand-yard rushers,” Palfey mentioned. “He’s so dependable. He loves Altoona soccer and has super pleasure in this system and the industry began through his father.”
DePiro misses some facets of training.
“I leave out the video games and pageant. I favored the camaraderie of the coaches, however it takes numerous time. I wasn’t house so much between paintings and training. My spouse did a really perfect process elevating our children; they’re such a success,” DePiro mentioned.
It used to be a bittersweet determination to promote the relatives industry.
“It used to be an emotional determination. Now we have such a lot of superb reminiscences right here; we’re leaving that at the back of us. We needed to ensure it might be completed proper; we needed to make the transition clean,” Patty DePiro mentioned.
“I noticed dad labored so exhausting when he used to be nonetheless on the railroad and labored right here at night time. I didn’t need to let that legacy down. I believe he can be proud,” Rocky DePiro mentioned.
Pacifico is satisfied DePiro can cross out on his personal phrases.
“He has been a forged industry proprietor within the town of Altoona. …. He has been devoted to serving the folks of Altoona and Blair County, it is without doubt one of the puts of which individuals have fond reminiscences,” Pacifico mentioned.
Replicate Group of workers Author Walt Frank is at 814-946-7467.
The DePiro report
Title: Rocco “Rocky” DePiro Jr.
graduate of Altoona Space Top Faculty
Place: Proprietor of Good friend-Mino’s Italian Village
Circle of relatives: Spouse, Patty; son, Rocco III; and daughter, Andrea; 3 grandchildren
Quote: “Other folks known as us the Cheers of Altoona, you can see folks in the similar seats.”