Pizzeria Whose Owner Pistol-whipped a Customer Closes

Written By Scott Joseph On May 30, 2009

Says Customers Were Afraid To Dine There

The Associate Press reports that a Palm Coast pizzeria has closed because of a loss of business, but this one can’t be blamed on the recession.

Back in January, two men returned a calzone from Goomba’s Pizzeria because the takeout order had not been properly prepared. The pizza ovens had been shut down for the evening, so the men asked for a refund. Instead, owner Joseph Milano pulled out a pistol and whacked one of the men in the head with it, sending him to the hospital. Milano originally claimed the two men attacked him first and he was merely defending himself. However, when police viewed the pizzeria’s own surveillance tapes, they saw no attack and no scuffle, just a whack up the side of the head.

In the ensuing months the pizzeria has seen a decline in business — go figure! — and, I’m guessing, fewer complaints from the customers that did come in.

But there’s even more to this story, which could have been an episode on the Sopranos. Turns out that Joseph Milano is actually Joseph Calco, a former mob hit man turned federal witness who was also known as “Crazy Joe,” if you can believe such a thing.

What can we learn from this? 1) The placement people with the Federal Witness Protection Program apparently have a warped sense of humor; 2) If you’re in a place called Goomba’s, you probably don’t want to complain because your calzone had sauce you didn’t want; and 3) the mob has lousy customer relations training.


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