NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven Police confirm to News 8 the death of the co-owner of Pepe’s Pizza, Gary Bimonte. Wallingford firefighters responded to his home at 6 p.m. Wednesday. New Haven police told News 8 he suffered a heart attack.
The restaurant released a full statement on their website that says,
It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of our brother, Gary Bimonte. Gary was a wonderful brother, son, uncle, and friend to so many, and he was loved by all of us.
Gary was the pride and joy of the Pepe’s family, and there are no words to express the immense void that his passing has left in our hearts. He truly loved and cherished our family’s history, and he was so proud of the legacy that has carried through all these years.
Gary was incredibly grateful for all of the happiness that our family brought to so many people through our love of pizza, and he really embodied the heritage and tradition that Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is known for today. He will be terribly missed by so many people.
Web Extra: Community mourning death of Pepe’s Pizza co-owner
The New Haven location will be closed Thursday as they mourn Gary’s passing.
Now, community reaction is pouring in.
Governor Ned Lamont released the following statement:
“Gary was as much of an icon and cornerstone of New Haven as anyone. The loss of the Bimonte family is one the entire state will tragically feel. A man with big heart, Gary was immensely proud and dedicated to his family, employees and greater community. Our thoughts are with the Bimonte family as we all mourn their loss.”
WEB EXTRA: Celebrating Pizza Day at Pepe’s
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker released a statement Thursday morning, saying,
“My condolences to the family of Gary Bimonte and the greater Pepe’s family. They are an iconic institution not just in New Haven, but to the country. Their cultural contributions have a lasting impact in our nation’s culinary history. We will always remember Gary for the love he had for this City, his employees, and his family. Please keep his family in your thoughts.”
WATCH EXTRA: Celebrity sightings at Pepe’s Pizza
Bimonte’s Pizza of Cheshire said on social media Thursday morning, “Mr. B’s would like to send out our heart-felt condolences to Gary’s family, from Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven. Truly, A very nice man, gone too soon. Rest well. We are so extremely sorry for your family’s loss”
WEB EXTRA: New Haven as third best city for pizza
The creators behind the “Pizza, a love story” documentary also shared their condolences.
“Gary was a good friend to our movie and was so proud of his pizzeria(s) and New Haven. Such a positive force. We will miss you Gary,” they said in a statement on social media in part.
Senator Richard Blumenthal released the following statement:
Sad to learn of Gary Bimonte’s passing. When you think of pizza, you think of Pepe’s. My thoughts are with his family during this difficult time. Thank you, Gary, for many great slices & memories.
WEB EXTRA: A closer look at Pepe’s Pizza
Attorney General William Tong also tweeted this following statement on Bimonte’s death:
“So sad to hear of the passing of Gary Bimonte, the co-owner of Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven and Frank Pepe’s grandson. Gary carried on his family’s history, heritage and legacy by making some of the best pizza in the world. My thoughts are with his family today.”
WATCH EXTRA: Pepe’s Pizza in Waterbury
Pepe’s Pizza was founded on Wooster Street in 1925 by Frank Pepe. The apizza can be found in other locations across Connecticut and has even expanded to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York.