ROXBURY, NJ – Sunday afternoon visitors to Joe’s Pizzeria and Restaurant in Kenvil might have thought the place had a real Italian family vibe going on.

If so, they were right.

Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the popular pizza place on Route 46. Owner Larry Faraci and his wife, Kristin, celebrated on Sunday by throwing a party for their family. They put up some balloons and put out a nice spread of food that included a 50th anniversary party cake.

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In the cheerful crowd that filled the lower dining room was Faraci’s father, Joe, the man who - with Faraci’s uncle Antonio Dattolo -opened the restaurant on March 16, 1968. So was Faraci’s mother, Norina Faraci.

There was a lot of snapshot taking, catching up on family news, laughter and – of course – eating.

Faraci, 50, said the pizza shop remains a family endeavor. “My wife and kids help out,” he said. “It’s still family operated, family run.”

Faraci family members weren’t the only people to show up; Roxbury Mayor Mark Crowley and several members of the Roxbury Mayor and Council swung by to offer their compliments and present Joe's with a plaque..

Crowley thanked Faraci “on behalf of the township council and the township Economic Development Committee” for being in business half a century.

Faraci started working at the restaurant when he was about 10. He said he has no intention of changing careers, not only because Joe’s Pizzeria and Restaurant is successful but also because he makes a darn good pie, so why mess with a good thing? “It’s all I know,” said Faraci, with a chuckle.

Faraci is thanking his customers next week with a 50th Anniversary Pizza Special: From March 26 to March 28, patrons will get a second pizza for half price when they buy one (for take-out only), Faraci said.