A Labor of Love, A Proud Heritage, A Commitment to Quality
Since 1975, JT’s Pizza & Spirits has been the neighborhood spot for outstanding service, a comfortable and friendly full-service bar, and of course, the delicious homemade pizza, pasta, and more that have made them a Grand Rapids favorite. They make everything from scratch, including their signature pizza dough, their incredible sauces, and their freshly ground Italian sausage recipe. Offering something for everyone, please let your server know if you have special dietary requirements.
Founded in 1975
JT’s Pizza Depot was founded in June of 1975 by Joe Cucinella and Tom Hudley (“J and T”…you always wondered, didn’t you?), in the tiny location on the west end of our current building. The business they purchased, right next door to the old “Majik Market”, was called “Da Besta Pizza”, and featured 100 ft of prime 28th street frontage, and 200 square feet of business space.
The “Depot” name came from a desire to decorate the restaurant in a train motif, which was prevalent in all of our locations in the early days. By the end of that first year, Joe bought out Tom’s share and solely owned JT’s Pizza & Spirits. Joe and his wife Becky were newlyweds in 1975, too, and he and Becky set out to build the business as a true labor of love, and a family enterprise.
A Family Business
Joe’s Mom and Dad were involved in the business, too. In fact, it was in Giuseppe and Fran’s kitchen where some of the pasta dishes were hand-crafted, a tradition which remains today. Meanwhile, Joe was very busy working the pizza ovens, making the dough every day, hand-tossing pizzas, and making every sub and pasta dinner by hand. He also had a profound commitment to making everything from scratch, including JT’s own signature pizza and pasta sauces, and their special, homemade, Italian sausage, featuring a very special taste that is not to be missed!
The Next Generation
Joe’s two sons Joey and Nick grew up working in the restaurant as well, and in 2017 purchased the restaurant from their parents and continue the family tradition. Joey shares his father’s passion for cooking everything from scratch and is now the chef, while Nick loves to crunch numbers and manages the business side.
A Commitment to Quality
They still make the dough, pasta and pizza sauces, and Italian sausage from scratch, using only the finest and freshest cuts of pork, and their own secret blend of spices and seasonings. The bottom line is that JT’s has always been a “labor of love” for the Cucinella family.
Thanks to the community and their hard-working staff, the business continues to grow each year. One thing hasn’t changed, and never will…Their strong dedication to quality, family recipes, and friendly service.