in Madison may someday be the flagship for a Firehouse franchise.
The 20-year-old Central Avenue restaurant recently reopened its doors after doubling its size with a million-dollar renovation and owner Nick Lardieri has his sights set on franchising the business to other towns in the area.
Essentially, everything is new, from the floors to the ceilings, walls, staff and menu.
Lardieri, a Madison resident, hired Fadi Riscala of Riscala Agnese Design Group to design the restaurant, and the decor includes photos taken at the .
"I always reinvest," Lardieri said. "I believe in that."
Lardieri opened the Firehouse in 1991 and he has expanded over the years to ultimately take over the entire building he opened in, with the latest renovation doubling seating capacity from 43 to 85.
With all of the changes, they still do deliveries and offer the same thin crust pizza, general manager Russ Baccaro said.
And they were impressed with the number of customers who started coming in when, after being closed for eight months, they unlocked the doors without fanfare.
"We're happy to see everybody back," Baccaro said.
The restaurant has imported Italian marble countertops, a new oven, plus its brick oven is back in service after being out of order leading up to the renovation.
They invested in new software for more efficient pizza deliveries.
The menu is pared back, but there's something on the menu to please everybody, including handmade desserts, Baccaro said. Phil DeNardo is the new head chef.
While they are working on plans to expand outside of Madison, Lardieri said the Madison location would be the flagship restaurant, where training is done and the business is perfected.
They see Nicky's as three businesses in one—the pizza side, the restaurant side and deliveries.
"It's a business where you have to dedicate your life to it," Lardieri said.
Nicky's Firehouse is located at 15 Central Ave. Phone: 973-765-0565.