Expanded Goffle Grill menu
Vito Panierino, who upheld North Jersey's Texas wiener tradition and added a side of cream of broccoli soup died Wednesday at St. Joseph's Wayne Hospital. The co-owner of Hawthorne's Goffle Grill was 45.
The cause was prostate cancer, said his brother, Anthony.
Mr. Panierino, a graduate of Manchester Regional High School in Haledon, worked at the Goffle Road restaurant as a youngster. His father, Sante Panierino, opened the hot dog-burger-chili-onion rings palace in January 1979.
After several years in computers with Singer-Kearfott Corp. in Little Falls, Mr. Panierino took over the restaurant with his brother in 1995.
"When you have a restaurant, everyone thinks you walk around with a martini glass, but that's not the way it is," Anthony Panierino said. And that's not the way it was with his genial brother, who worked the counter and the kitchen in his blue Goffle Grill shirt and routinely put in more than 60 hours a week.
"He was married to his work," Anthony said of his bachelor brother.
Mr. Panierino had a special fondness for soup and expanded that menu offering.
"Vito was the soup guy," said counterman Joe Carradori. Cream of broccoli and cream of mushroom were among his homemade successes.
Mr. Panierino, who lived in the Towaco section of Montville, is survived by his brother, of Hawthorne; his mother, Immacolata Panierino, of Riverdale; and his father, who lives in Italy.
Visiting is today from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Festa Memorial Funeral Home, Totowa. The funeral Mass will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. at St. Anthony R.C. Church, Hawthorne, followed by entombment in Laurel Grove Cemetery Mausoleum, Totowa.
Published in The Record on Jan. 27, 2012