Anthony Salvatore, former owner of Hoboken pizzeria, remembered for his love of Italian heritage and family

Anthony Salvatore, the former owner of Filippo’s on First Pizzeria in Hoboken, died Saturday. He was 46.

Salvatore, who battled lymphoma for six years, was an “old soul” who embraced his Italian heritage and a love for food, loved ones wrote on a GoFundMe page created in his memory.

The page, which has a goal of raising $50,000 to support Salvatore’s wife and three sons, has raised more than $32,000 in just three days.

A North Bergen native, Salvatore graduated from North Bergen High School and went on to own two Italian restaurants: Filippo’s on First Pizzeria, between Willow and Park avenues, and later, Casa Azzurri Italian Restaurant in Madison.

Customers raved on Yelp about the specialty pies and flavorful sauce at Filippo’s, which never reopened after suffering extensive flooding in Superstorm Sandy.

“Hoboken has good pizza but NOTHING compares to filippo’s,” one person wrote on Yelp, begging for the pizzeria to reopen.

Although it closed for good, Salvatore opened his restaurant in Madison and treated his three children to Italian food at home in East Hanover, according to his Hancliffe Home for Funerals obituary.

“Proud of his Italian-American heritage, he took pride in the annual Columbus Day parade and family celebrations that followed,” it says. “The true definition of a family man, Anthony made it a point to pass along those associated traditions and values to his children like: making meatballs for Sunday gravy, overseeing Tomato Day, making struffoli and homemade wine and playing the Italian card game, Scopa.”

He is survived by his wife Christina Salvatore, his sons Domenico, Angelo and Antonio, his sister Tina Wright and his brothers Giulio Salvatore and Marc Salvatore.

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