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Damani’s Pizza & Pastaria builds on family legacy

Published: Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 12:00 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Lathan Goumas – lgoumas@shawmedia.com)
Asif Damani makes pizza dough at Damani's Pizza and Pastaria in Cary. Damani, who formerly owned Papa Savarios in Cary, opened his own restaurant in mid-October.
Caption
(Lathan Goumas – lgoumas@shawmedia.com)
Asif Damani folds the edge of pizza dough to make the crust at Damani's Pizza and Pastaria in Cary.
Caption
(Lathan Goumas – lgoumas@shawmedia.com)
Asif Damani spreads sauce on a pizza at Damani's Pizza and Pastaria in Cary.

CARY – After years in the pizza restaurant business, Asif Damani decided to bring a taste of his family’s Italian cooking to the Cary area.

Damani, who previously owned Papa Savario’s in Cary and Rosati’s Pizza in Highland Park, jettisoned the franchised pizza business and opened his own restaurant in Cary last month.

Damani’s Pizza & Pastaria, 716 Route 14, features a diverse menu of pastas, pizzas, sandwiches, chicken, ribs and shrimp all made with fresh ingredients from homemade recipes.

Tired with the increasingly processed style of the franchises, Damani said that customers won’t see canned products used at his newest business venture.

“If people are paying for something, they should get quality food for their hard-earned money,” he said.

The restaurant serves lunch and dinner for take-out and delivery. The main offerings include pizza, from deep dish to thin crust, and pastas, from baked mostaccioli to chicken parmigana.

Damani spent the past 14 months transforming a long-vacant retail space between Wendy’s and Jewel in a strip mall near Route 14 and Three Oaks Road.

He brought the space up to code and added a new ventilation system. Cary village and business officials recognized the effort with a ribbon-cutting last week.

The focus on homemade food and fresh ingredients should separate the restaurant from its competitors in an area that lacks high-quality, on-the-go Italian food, Damani said.

“My pasta dishes, I don’t think anyone has them in town. Even with the pizza, a lot of the competition around here uses canned sauce, and the dough is frozen,” Damani said. “We make everything from scratch everyday – our pizza dough, marinara sauce.”

So far, the community has responded. Damani said he has served roughly 1,000 customers in his first month of operation, and he already seen has repeat customers.

Damani also has the family pedigree for success. His father, Sam Damani, started the family in the pizza business when he worked as a delivery driver for the original Rosati’s family store in suburban Chicago.

Sam Damani moved his way into management and now owns a Rosati’s in Crystal Lake.

Asif Damani said his father was shocked but supportive to hear that he was opening his own business. Damani will now look to build on the new business’ early success in Cary.

“It’s been off to a really good start,” he said.

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About Damani’s Pizza and Pastaria

Asif Damani’s newest venture offers a diverse menu of pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, chicken, ribs and shrimp. Located at 716 Route 14 in Cary, Damani’s serves lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Sunday, on a take-out or delivery basis. For information, call Damani’s at 847-516-2020.

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