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Meet the Pizza Cousins

Sal Basille (left) and Francis Garcia (right) are cousins and the owners of Artichoke Basille Pizza.

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In a city like New York, pizza is not hard to come by. But over the past decade, two cousins have been making a big name for themselves in the competitive local pizza scene. Francis Garcia and Sal Basille are pretty much building a pizza empire, one slice at a time.

The cousins left the family business on Staten Island to open their own pizza shop in Manhattan in 2008. Since establishing Artichoke Basille Pizza in a tiny space in the East Village, Garcia and Basille have opened 13 other eateries and they continue to expand.

Garcia and Basille literally grew up in the restaurant industry and from their great grandparents down, family members have owned everything from sandwich shops to bakeries to restaurants and pizzerias. The charismatic cousins have not only kept that traditional alive, but they’ve taken it several steps further. They’re now franchising. And they’ve even starred in TV shows—one appropriately called "Pizza Cuz."

"Cityscape" recently caught up with Garcia and Basille at Artichoke Pizza on 10th Avenue in Manhattan. We shared a slice and then slipped next door to their specialty coffee shop, Frankie Portugal, where we sat down for a chat.
 

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