Beyond the chess tables lining Ocean Parkway, past the rabbinically-overseen pizzerias in nearby Borough Park (one of the largest orthodox Jewish populations outside Israel), you’d be forgiven on any given Saturday for thinking the area surrounding classic Bensonhurst slice joint J & V Pizzeria is a ghost town. But across from a 7-Eleven and the old-school Italian Bari Pork Store on the corner of 64th Street and 18th Avenue, the smell of cheese grease and dough drifts out the doors of “The Home of the Jojo.”
J & V stands for John and Vinny — John Mortillaro and Vincent DeGrezia — two friends who founded it when this was a much more Italian Bensonhurst in 1950. These days, you’re more likely to hear Chinese and Polish, but more than 60 years of pizza tradition continues. Its namesakes were from Sicily (John) and Naples (Vincent), geography responsible for its square and round pies. J & V also claims to be among the first pizzerias to sell by the slice.