The beloved Maspeth restaurant was sold in 2018 and was rebranded as WB Pizza Restaurant, which closed just two years later. The landlord, who has known Guaman for years, then offered him the opportunity to open a new eatery.
Guaman and another co-worker, Marcelo Benaloza, agreed to start their own business, called Danny Pizzeria & Restaurant, in the same location where they worked for 30 years. Last Friday was their first day welcoming customer.
“We’re here to help the community of Maspeth,” Guaman said. “We want it to keep going, with the same menu as before with Three Sons.”
The new owners planned to open in March, but when the pandemic struck, they had to shut everything down. Guaman said neighbors were anxious for the spot to open.
“Everybody knew Tommaso, he was a good friend to everybody in the neighborhood,” he said. “So the people say, you’re the same as Tommaso. That’s why I came back.”
Guaman, whose own father passed away when he was young, said he considers Izzo a “father figure.” He said he’s grateful for everything the former Three Sons owner did for him.
A native of Ecuador, Guaman came to the United States in 1987 at just 18 years old. He worked in Manhattan as a dishwasher for a year before being hired at Three Sons.
Although he also started as a dishwasher at the Maspeth restaurant, he wanted more responsibilities and eventually learned to make pizzas.
Now 52 years old, Guaman said he never would have imagined he would own his own restaurant one day.
Sitting with his family members on the cusp of opening Danny Pizzeria & Restaurant to the public, Guaman was overwhelmed with emotions. With tears in his eyes, he said he’s glad he finally got the opportunity to start his own business.
“I’m happy,” he said. “Everything came out good.”