Vinh “Vinny” Nguyen, co-owner of Pho Ga Tony Tony, and Gustavo Arribas, the former owner of Venezia Pizzeria in the Bronx, are opening a NY-style pizzeria in Norcross.
The pizzeria will be called Vicina Pizza and Salad (“neighbor” in Italian) and will be situated two doors down from the Pho Ga Tony Tony in the Carter Oak Plaza, at 5495 Jimmy Carter Blvd, Suite C104, Nguyen tells What Now Atlanta.
Replacing an accounting office, the 2,000 square-foot storefront will undergo a complete gutting and buildout in preparation of opening Vicina Pizza and Salad. “We need a full renovation, a grease trap, the whole nine yards,” Nguyen said. The landlord, who is providing some tenant improvement allowances, will easily see an ROI on that investment, according to Nguyen. “With this opening, we’re going to improve the shopping center.”
In addition to co-owning the Pho Ga Tony Tony in Carter Oak Plaza, Nguyen’s family has operated Nail Supply World in the shopping center since 2011.
Nguyen and Arribas have a storied history. Nguyen up until four years ago lived in the Bronx and was a regular at Arribas’s Venezia Pizzeria. “Pizza is my favorite food. I eat pizza at least three times a week, and Arribas’s is the best,” Nguyen said. “Our logo includes a ‘greater than’ symbol because pizza is better than life itself.” The “>” also represents a sideways “V” for “Vicina” and looks like a slice, Nguyen said.
On a trip to the Bronx for his late mother Ninh Nguyen’s funeral in May 2021, Nguyen made a stop into his favorite pizzeria, and over a slice of chicken, tomato, onion (which will be carried at Vicina), Nguyen proposed the idea of Arribas leaving the Bronx and moving to Atlanta to open a pizzeria together. “I said, you know, ‘if you want to get out of the Bronx,’ and he said, ‘Ok, let’s go,'” Nguyen said.
Arribas sold Venezia in April 2022 and moved to Atlanta, bringing with him the NY-style pizza that Nguyen fell in love with. On the menu will be the aforementioned pie with chicken, tomato, and onion, a clam pie, and a few surprise pies that Nguyen plans to announce later this year. Vicina will also serve five signature salads.
Once Nguyen gets Vicina up and running, the restauranteur next plans to open a Vietnamese eatery in honor of his mother, called Ninh, featuring many of the dishes she made for him during his childhood.