For nearly 50 years, Tony’s Pizzalicious and Spaghetti House has been serving up hot pies for Cayce and West Columbia.
“It’s a locally owned business – not a franchise,” said owner and manager Steve Seremetis. “We have a more professional crew – some who have been with the restaurant 30 years – and very regular customers. And all of our food is made fresh; nothing is canned here.”
As the name implies, Tony’s does sell lots of pizza pies, the most popular of which is the Dimi’s Deluxe, named for Seremetis’ 9-year-old daughter, Dimitra. The pizza is topped with pepperoni, ground beef, Italian sausage, fresh mushrooms, green peppers, onions, black olives and bacon.
“It’s a good mix between a meat lovers and a vegetarian,” Seremetis said.
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But it may be the dough that is the reason all of Tony’s pizzas are such a hit.
“I let the dough warm up to room temperature before I do anything with it,” Seremetis said. “That’s a trick my grandmother taught me. Most restaurants just work with it cold from the fridge. Allowing it to warm up before it’s baked gives it that nice, chewy inside and a crispy outside that everyone loves.”
But Tony’s isn’t all pizza. The diner’s spaghetti is a top seller. In fact, Seremetis estimates he makes 10 gallons of meat sauce each day. The spaghetti with meat sauce, spaghetti with fresh, sauteed mushrooms and the baked spaghetti are all top menu items, Seremetis said.
Other menu items include Greek-Italian bruchetta, and artichoke and spinach dip appetizers and garden and Greek salads, as well as a good offering of strombolis and calzones.
How did Tony’s get its start?
Tony’s has been in the same location at 975 Knox Abbott Drive in Cayce since it opened 48 years ago. Seremetis, who had been in the restaurant business for 35 years in Canada, moved to Columbia in 2010 and bought the restaurant, which he completely renovated, giving it a new kitchen and new menu items such as the calzones and Philly cheesesteak.
After Columbia’s October flooding, Seremetis and his wife, Valerie, delivered countless pizzas to first responders throughout the West Columbia and Cayce area. Since then, Tony’s has offered customers the opportunity to purchase “pending meals” for uniformed officers to dine at the restaurant free.
“So far, we have had over 71 pending meal gift cards purchased, and over half of them have been used,” Seremetis said. “The person who buys the card has the opportunity to write a message to the officer telling them how much they appreciate all that they have done, and that message is given to the officer when they come in. … I’m so honored that my customers have given so much to this program, and I’m blessed to have each and every one of them.”
Who eats here?
Tony’s Pizzalicious appeals to all types of customers, Seremetis said – professionals looking for a lunch special, college students and families looking for a freshly made cozy Italian dinner.
What does the place look like?
Since Tony’s is 48 years old, it does retain some of the old charm inherent in the location dating to the late ’60s. The dining room seats only about 50 patrons and offers a true old-school pizza and spaghetti-house vibe.
WHERE: 975 Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce
WHEN: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday-Saturday; closed Sunday
COST: Appetizers average $5; lunch specials are offered at $7.50; spaghetti dinners and strombolis average $9-$11.