Little Italy meets the modern city at Piccione (pa-CHO’-nee), an Italian pastry shop in The Loop with a long family history stretching back to the early 1920s. By 1935, the Picciones became involved in the independent movie theater business with the Apollo on DeBaliviere Avenue and the Varsity on Delmar Boulevard. Many suggest that the Picciones were responsible for beginning the late night culture on The Loop with the success of the Varsity, which became famous for its sold out screenings of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Tapping into the entrepreneurial roots established by his grandmother Grace Viviano Piccione, Richard Nix, Jr., along with his wife Elizabeth, have reconnected the Piccione family to their rich history on Delmar. Nix shared that after going to the famous Mike’s Pastry in the historic North End neighborhood of Boston, he finally decided to open his pastry shop. Piccione, which means pigeon, is a testimony to the American Dream that gave his grandfather a chance at success despite being an immigrant.
At Piccione, the atmosphere is very relaxed and the servers are easygoing while still doing a wonderful job. Their cases are filled with lots of delicious pastries that range from cannolis and tiramisu to the Italian riff on donuts called bomboloni. The pastries are certainly fresh considering you can see the chefs rolling out the dough and making the cannolis to order behind the counter.
They also serve Italian soda, cappuccinos and offer a few savory items for breakfast or lunch. Vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free options are also available to accommodate any dietary restrictions. There are lots of tables, which is convenient for both a chat with friends and a late study night.
For the month of February, Piccione is hosting an event called “The Language of Love.” The owners have teamed up with Gusto Gourmet Creamery’s gelato makers Kaetlyn Macauley and Francesco Velocci to create this event. “Language of Love” is an opportunity to learn more about Italian culture while enjoying delicious sweets and sharing stories. There is still one Wednesday left in February, so don’t miss out on the great opportunity. Classes are free of charge and begin at 7:30 p.m.
Piccione is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.