It’s a bittersweet time in the restaurant world, as the namesake of popular Pizzeria & Bar Dom DeMarco in Summerlin has passed away.
This is where Albert Scalleat, owner of Pizzeria & Bar Dom DeMarcofirst tasted DeMarco’s high-quality artisan pies and decided they should be served in Las Vegas, too.
It took a bit of convincing, Scalleat recounts, because DeMarco wasn’t a fan of leaving his beloved hometown, let alone flying across the country. And their first meeting, which came with a mandatory business card, didn’t seem too promising for Scalleat’s entrepreneurial vision.
“He puts [my] card in his pocket and said to me in Brooklyn, “Vegas, why would I want to go to Las Vegas? I have everything I want right here on my block. I don’t even own a car. I don’t have ‘ta – I have everything on my block,’” Scalleat said.
Luckily for Scalleat — and Southern Nevada pizza lovers — DeMarco’s wife was a fan of Sin City-themed TV shows, so the New York couple accepted an offer to visit Las Vegas. Once here they were wine and dined, including pies on the house Subway Pizza. Later, over an expensive bottle of Amarone wine at 9 a.m. in Brooklyn, a gentlemen’s agreement was sealed with a handshake: Scalleat could lay off Dom DeMarco’s moniker.
Pizzeria & Bar Dom DeMarco opened in 2011; it was followed in 2014 by a Di Fara outpost in Palace of the Caesars.
Scalleat noted that DeMarco is the foundation of the gourmet pizza culture that has flourished in the United States. “He was the guy who was so meticulous with his pizza. Everything was imported. Everything was the best,” Scalleat said.
“He was a great guy. All he loved to do was make pizza, sing, drink that Amarone wine, laugh and tell jokes,” he added in tribute to DeMarco.
Contact Greg Thilmont at [email protected] or 702-383-6266. Follow @gregthilmont on Instagram.