LYNDHURST, N.J. -- The Lyndhurst classic Jo Jo's has new owners after 41 years, after Junior Oppido hung up his apron last month, and the incoming owners are reporting an easy transition as they continue Oppido's traditions.
As the Daily Voice reported last month, Oppido took over the shop in 1976, helped by his wife Cindy -- who was his girlfriend when she first began helping out in the shop. And another husband-wife pair plan on seeing the longstanding restaurant through the next few decades.
Mike and Sharon Perri took over the operation on Dec. 19.
"The majority of customers have been very receptive," Sharon Perri told the Daily Voice. "It's been great, actually."
Customers will find that much about the restaurant is unchanged: "We're serving the same great food they've always had."
Perri said they haven't taken anything off the menu -- though they've added some items, as well as a lunch menu. "We wanted to make sure that the customers who have been loyal and true keep coming."
The staff is also essentially the same, she said.
We have great delivery guys, great cooks. They're family now. It's a great blend of people.
Perri added that some of the cooks have been there for 15 years.
Oppido has also helped make the transition a smooth one. He was in the restaurant for a couple weeks, Perri said. "And he still pops in, now and again."
She said she thought Oppido sold it to them both because he'd known her husband -- who was born and raised in Lyndhurst -- for years, and because they're also a family-oriented couple.
"We bought it because we knew we would keep the tradition going."
Her husband also has a history with pizza. His parents ran Gino's Pizza, in Belleville, and he got plenty of experience with Italian cooking there. His brother now runs that shop.
Jo Jo's is getting a minor name change, from Jo Jo's Pizzeria to Jo Jo's Pizza & Pasta Kitchen. Customers may also note a few modernizations: the shop now takes credit cards, and ordering through GrubHub is in the works.
Perri said that they are happy to be a part of the community, and they plan on being involved in local events.
"We're very excited about the future, what it holds for us."JoJo's is at 726 Ridge Rd. Call 201-933-0360 to order, or see its website or Facebook page for more info.