New York Pizzeria is as well-known for its quality Italian food and pizzas as its unwavering commitment to community support.
In its 31 years in Chino, owners Bob and Jill Gillis have hosted hundreds of fundraisers, given away free food and fed some 700 military troops in training at March Air Force Base in Riverside County. Feeding the troops was a feat, Mr. Gillis recalls, describing how his employees worked nonstop for four hours, making 80 pizzas per hour; and how his wife and sons became part of the delivery team, driving back and forth from Chino to Riverside.
The couple’s willingness to go to bat for a cause has no boundaries. The pizzeria once sponsored a Russian youth sports team in a tournament at Ayala Park. The team expressed a need and the Gillises were happy to help. New York Pizzeria also has sponsored scores of local youth sports teams, as evidenced by the numerous team photos on the establishment’s walls.
“Parents come to show their children pictures on our walls from their playing days,” Mr. Gillis said, proudly. Sports memorabilia, including trophies, photos, pennants and banners from grateful basketball, football, soccer, and baseball teams adorn every inch of restaurant wall space. “Every item has a memorable story behind it, Mr. Gillis said, fondly.
The fundraiser that most touched his heart was for a young boy, who had outgrown his wheelchair and needed a new one. His father had served in Iraq but had no money or health care. Mr. Gillis said the community came together and quickly raised the funds for the purchase.
“I’m always ready to help any charity, school, or league,” said Mr. Gillis. “My staff and I love putting out great food for a great time and making people happy,” he said.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday.
New York Pizzeria, 12431 Central Ave., Chino, 627-8883.