Parx Casino to expand, adding Lombardi's Pizza and entertainment center

Pepperoni pizza, a la Lombardi's.

Lombardi's, regarded as the oldest pizzeria in the United States, will be part of a $50 million expansion of Parx Casino in Bensalem, to open this December.

Casino officials said Lombardi's will be joined by a new poker room and a 1,500-seat entertainment venue, named Xcite Center. All told, the expansion will add 45,000 square feet to the property's footprint of 375,000 square feet.  

Lombardi's, a coal-fired pizza specialist that dates its founding in New York City's Little Italy to 1905, is a familiar name in the Philadelphia area. The shop's Brooklyn-born owner, Mike Giammarino, operated a Lombardi's branch on South 18th Street near Sansom from 1998 to 2005, when the strip of businesses was uprooted by the construction of 10 Rittenhouse.

In 2012, Giammarino returned to Philadelphia to open Gennaro's Tomato Pie near South Philadelphia High School. In late 2015, Gennaro's moved to 11th Street across from the East Passyunk Singing Fountain.

Besides pizza, Lombardi's menu will include Italian dishes, and will have a bar specializing in European wines, all available by the glass.

Giammarino said the pizza oven will be brick-lined electric, similar to the one at Gennaro's in South Philadelphia. "You can't taste the difference" between this oven and the coal-fired ones, he said.

Parx also will add Liberty Bell Gastropub, featuring locally sourced menu items, and what's billed as a rotisserie bar, where meats will be roasted in view of customers. Numbers: 14 high-definition TVs behind the 30-seat bar, and 28 craft beers available on tap.

Camera icon VIA PARX 
A rendering of the new Lombardi's at Parx Casino.