Goodfellas success keeps it in the family

This fall, Goodfellas in Dagsboro will mark five years bringing subs, pizza and Italian cuisine to the area, but were they going to stop there? Forget about it! The restaurant’s success has paved the way for several other expansions throughout Sussex County, including their newest venture, in Selbyville, headed by owner Ralph Colone’s son, Rob.

Coastal Point • Chris Clark: Rob Colone hand-tosses pizza dough in the new Goodfellas restaurant in Selbyville. Rob, whose father started the Goodfellas name in Dagsboro has high hopes for the new location.Coastal Point • Chris Clark
Rob Colone hand-tosses pizza dough in the new Goodfellas restaurant in Selbyville. Rob, whose father started the Goodfellas name in Dagsboro has high hopes for the new location.

“Our Dagsboro location was the original,” noted Rob Colone. “The residents in Gull’s Way, across the road from it, have really helped us out. We’ve opened places in Frankford, Delmar and Pittsville as a result of the business we were doing. Now, the Selbyville Goodfellas is my venture.”

Located along the Route 113 corridor, across from 84 Lumber, the new shop is something Colone is hoping will expand the family business to a wider customer base.

“There’s maybe one other pizza place that gets to customers out here,” he said, “but no one offers what we do.”

Goodfellas’ menu boasts everything from traditional subs and pizzas to strombolis, salads and authentic Italian dinners. Manicotti, veal and eggplant parmesan, baked ziti and rigatoni with meatballs are just a sample of the plentiful menu choices. Italian sweets, such as tiramisu and cannolis, add the perfect touch – any time of day, too.

“Before coming in, most people don’t realize we even offer the dinners,” Colone said. “They love the pizza and subs, but after stopping in to pick up and order, they come back to try the lasagna or baked shells.”

The pizza is made fresh and true to Colone’s family heritage.

“We don’t use wire screens, like a lot of places do,” he said. “Our pizzas are hand-tossed and go into the oven on a wooden paddle. It’s the same way you’d find it at the authentic Italian restaurants in New York City or Philadelphia.”

And the flying dough isn’t just a treat for grumbling stomachs. It pleases the eye, as well.

“When school lets out, a lot of kids from Selbyville Middle School will stop by or grab dinner with their parents,” Colone added. “They like watching us tossing the dough. They really get a kick out of it.”

But offering genuine Italian eats isn’t the sole reason so many people place an order at Goodfellas. So what contributes to the restaurant’s success? According to Colone, it’s experience.

“My father came off the boat in 1969 from Italy,” he noted. “He had his first restaurant in 1971 in the Poconos and went from there. These are the recipes he’s grown up with his entire life.” Soon after Colone was born, he was already getting accustomed to the Italian lifestyle and his family’s business.

“I made my first pizza when I was 6,” he recalled, “and started working with my father in the restaurants when I was 11. I loved it. After school, when everyone was taking the bus home, I’d get dropped off at the restaurant. By now, I’ve got pizza sauce pumping through my veins!” While the Selbyville location is still new, Colone said he has high hopes for the newest addition to the Goodfellas name.

“We’re already seeing regular customers,” he said. “People are coming in, day after day, and being out here in Selbyville, we’re seeing customers who would drive all the way up from Berlin to Dagsboro. A lot of people are glad we’re here now.”

In mid-October, Colone plans to hold grand opening of the Selbyville location. In the near future, he’s planning on starting deliveries from the shop, as well as finishing off the kitchen, to offer even more of a selection.

“We should be getting our fryers in soon,” he said. “Then, we can offer our fried chicken and wings that everyone comes in for [at our other locations]. They go over well during football season.”

Eventually, Colone said, he would like to take the business into Ocean City, Md., and ultimately out toward Salisbury, Md., but, for the time being, he’s content with his new Selbyville spot.

“We’ve been building this from the ground up,” he said. “Lots of my friends have been a part of this business over the years. We’re doing what we can to reach the locals in the community. I’m helping them, and they’re helping me out.”

For more information about Goodfellas in Selbyville, or to place an order, call (302) 436-5266 or stop into the restaurant, located at 38555 Dupont Boulevard (Route 113), Unit 2, in Selbyville, near the Delaware-Maryland state line. Goodfellas is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Sundays through Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.