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EMPLOYEES SCORCHED BY PIZZERIA CLOSING

dannysAfter more than 30 years in business, Danny’s is ending its run and owners from Long Branch will take over. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Danny’s Pizza & Subs, a Little Silver landmark for nearly 40 years, is shutting its doors after selling to buyers from Long Branch, employees told redbankgreen.

The eatery, which has looked out at the Little Silver Train Station since 1971, is expected to cease operations soon — employees haven’t quite gotten the firm details. And they’re angry over what they say has been mismanagement of the business.

They say they were told December 19 by the shop’s owner, Anthony Ciaglia, that he sold the business to the owners of Attilio’s in Long Branch. There is no new required certificate of occupancy on file ye in Red Bank, which handles Little Silver’s building enforcement.

Ciaglia, who bought Danny’s from his older brother in 2003, hasn’t returned numerous messages left by redbankgreen for comment.

Employees, though disappointed to see the pizza restaurant go, didn’t exactly have fond words for the boss.

“It’s very sad what happened to this place,” said Jeff Hayden, who has worked on and off at the shop for more than 20 years.

Hayden and other employees said the business has been sinking for several years. Ingredients and products brought into the store weren’t the same quality as before. Customer service fell off. To compensate for a loss of customers, Hayden said prices went up.

“He should write a book on how to turn a gold mine into a garbage dump,” said Ali Donadei, who was unapologetic about her anger on the sale, which she learned of second hand.

“Finding a job right now, especially in this economy is probably going to take a miracle,” she said. “My mortgage company doesn’t want to hear that, though.”

Danny’s seems to have thrived at one time, judging by the laudatory newspaper articles hanging on the walls. For more than a decade, the Ciaglias also operated Danny’s II in Middletown. But business at that location slipped, and that’s when Danny Ciaglia left the business to Anthony, according to Asbury Park Press archives. By 2004, Anthony Ciaglia was the sole owner of Danny’s in Little Silver.

Hayden said Danny’s could close as soon as next week, leaving the shop’s employees scrambling to find a new place to work.

“We’re all looking at the fifth, but we don’t know exactly,” he said.

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