Acclaimed Di Fara Pizza up for rent — for $30 a head

Difara’s owner Dom DeMarco and his daughter Margy have to keep the gate closed to their famous Midwood pizza eatery, after a Nov. 16 health inspection found an unsavory topping in their kitchen — mouse droppings.
By Colin Mixson

Di Fara Pizza has a solution for foodies and slice lovers who want to avoid the acclaimed eatery’s legendary lines: rent the place out for a private party.

For $30 a head, pizzaphiles can rent the eatery as well as famed pizzaiolo Domenico De Marco on Thursday nights for an evening of nearly all-you-can eat pizza — a dream come true for Di Fara freaks who say a private affair at the Avenue J slice shop is akin to spending a night at the White House.

“I would have paid $100 a head,” said Laura Valois, who recently celebrated her husband’s birthday with a fete at Di Fara’s. “We’re talking about Dom De Marco here. Not that many people can say they had Di Fara’s shut down and Dom personally cooked for them. That’s special.”
Employees at the Midwood pizzeria say the private party offer came about by accident.

“One person asked us to do it, and we did, and then another, and then another, so we decided to do it regularly now,” said Margaret De Marco, who works alongside her 75-year-old father — who still makes nearly every pie himself. “It’s a tight space, but people have been having a great time.”

Di Fara’s private parties — which does not include booze, appetizers, or dessert — are quite intimate, Margaret says. The eatery’s tables are shoved together to provide a banquet-style experience, and every two people get to share one pie.
For anyone who’s ever split a Di Fara’s pie, they know that’s probably enough, said Margaret, who promises that her father will continue to make pizzas until everyone is absolutely full.

“It’s kind of unlimited,” she said. “We just keep bringing out different kinds of pies.”

Longtime fans of Di Fara Pizza who don’t think twice about forking over $5 a slice and nearly went into pizza withdrawal last year when the restaurant was temporarily closed by the city for racking up a slew of health code violations have been renting the restaurant out for birthday parties, anniversaries, and the always popular “we love Di Fara pizza” parties — but the main draw is always the unfettered access one has to the pontiff of pizza himself, Dom De Marco.

Margaret says her dad, who is famous for not addressing customers or looking up from his creations, actually doesn’t mind it when the spotlight is on him.

“He gets nervous about it, but I tell him you’re doing the same thing you always do,” she said. “Instead of making thirty pies for different people, it’s thirty pies for the same group of people.”

Di Fara fans worrying that they won’t be able to get a slice when a private party is in full swing shouldn’t fret, Margaret says. The pizzeria will keep its window open to serve other customers. They will just have to wait outside.

For information about holding a private party at Di Fara Pizza, one can call (718) 2581367 or email Difarapizza@aol.com.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at erosenberg@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

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