By Mary Ann Hoffman
Alexandria, VA – What do two Brooklyn brothers, a native Alexandrian and a Cypriot woman named Stella have in common? Seemingly nothing, but actually something pretty significant. All had a hand in building a little-known Alexandria establishment, Fairlington Pizza, considered to be an “unofficial” historical landmark, and one of the oldest pizzerias in Alexandria.
Currently owned by Nick Roman, its roots date back to the 1960’s and was established by the two D’Oreint brothers from Brooklyn. When asked how he got interested in owning a pizza shop, Nick said that he remembers going there when he was very young and “since I didn’t grow up with a lot of means, the previous owner, Stella, used to let me run a tab.” Nick has never forgotten his humble roots and Stella’s compassion. “When I finally bought the shop, I didn’t want to have it only to make money but also to be a partner in the community.”
During this time of Covid, and even before, Nick has lived up to his promise. His original décor donned a picture of every T.C. Williams sports team. But this was not the only way he showed his support for his alma mater. Nick was awarded Alexandria Corporate Sponsor of the Year for his support of Alexandria, including supplying free meals to the T.C. football and basketball teams. He also sponsors kids for football camp and is planning on partnering with ACPS’s William Ramsay school to provide meals for students. This is modeled after the partnership he has built with Arlington County’s Abington Elementary School where he donates meals on Fridays. Finally, during the most recent Federal work shutdown, Nick offered free meals to Federal workers. “These workers were caught flat-footed and I wanted to help.”
As with most businesses, Fairlington Pizza took a bit of a hit during the start of the pandemic. Some of his good deeds came full circle when the same Federal workers came back to support him. “So many of these people came back to donate money so I could make meals for others and continue to donate during Covid. I learned at an early age through my own experience that food is a right, not a privilege. We really don’t need notoriety for what we are doing because we are doing what we are supposed to do. We are being a responsible part of the community that we live and work in.”
As for Fairlington Pizza, notoriety doesn’t come only from Nick’s generosity. His oh-so- popular NY style pizza is based on the original from the D’Oreint brothers of Brooklyn. The crust is thin and delicious with enough melted cheese to satisfy any northerner. So, during this difficult time, if you are looking for a place to support your fellow Alexandrians and experience some great NY style pizza, look no further. Nick is your guy and Fairlington Pizza is the place.
Fairlington Pizza is located at 1715 Centre Plaza in the Fairlington Centre. For more information, visit fairlingtonpizza.com or call 703-998-6711.