Hudson -- Zeppe's is often thought of as "just a pizza shop," but after 20 years of renovations and menu changes, Zeppe's Bistro & Bar, 5483 Darrow Road in Hudson, has evolved into something much bigger.
The restaurant, collectively run by the Ciresi family -- Gina, her daughter Gianna, and her son Steve -- is touted as a family-oriented business with some Italian flair.
The Italian edge comes from Gina Ciresi, who spent much of her life in Italy and traveled around Europe to sing with Luciano Pavarotti, a famous Italian opera singer.
"He was like the Rolling Stones of opera," said Gianna Ciresi.
"He had the greatest tenor voice," Gina Ciresi added.
This piece of Italy is reflected in its business approach and its menu, which has more than a 100 options with some wine selections exclusive to their restaurant. The mixture of bar, happy hour and seasonal specials add to their affordability.
"We revamped our whole look and our whole menu," said Gianna Ciresi. "We change our menu every few months and we cater to the customer's needs."
Much of the staff has been there since day one, and those who haven't, have been there for a decade or more, further cultivating the family restaurant atmosphere.
"Service is very important to us," said Gina Ciresi. "Price-wise, food-wise and staff-wise, we give you an offer you can't refuse."
Since its opening in 1993, a bar, a year-round patio and a Venetian room has been added; and Zeppe's offers services such as party planning and catering, both on and off premises. Most of these additions have happened in the past five years.
The patio is wrapped and heated for the winter, and decorate accordingly for each holiday, said Gianna Ciresi.
"We're about celebrating, holidays, family and tradition," she said. "Everybody loves to come here; it's a family place, for young people, for old people and people in the middle. We've established a great clientele over the years and we treat our customers like family."
Starting the week of Sept. 23, customers will be able to participate in a wide range of specials in celebration of its 20th anniversary.
Monday, kids eat free and may enter a coloring contest. The winner of each age group will win a Toys 'R' Us gift card. Cinderella, Prince Charming and Spiderman will also make an appearance.
A steel drum band will perform on Tuesday, and food and tropical drink specials will be offered.
Wine-O Wednesday will take wine prices back to the opening year, with 1993 pricing on select wines. Domestic beer specials will also be offered.
Featured menu items will be back to 1993 prices on Throwback Thursday with additional martini specials.
Jerry Simmer, one of the Four Lads, will be performing Thursday and Saturday.
"I wanted to have a place where the prices aren't out of range, there's great music, the greatest service, and great food," Gina Ciresi said. "They get the whole nine yards."
For more information, call 330-655-9600.