Saturday, January 10, 1998

Homer Simpson stops here for pizza

By Colleen Slevin
Eagle-Tribune Writer

METHUEN - For the past 40 years, thousands of people have dined on Tony & Ann's pizza and subs.

Tomorrow, millions of people will get a taste of the North Chelmsford eatery when it makes an appearance on "The Simpsons" at 8 p.m. on the Fox network.

"The Simpsons" background design supervisor Lance Wilder is using Methuen restaurateur Anthony Privitera's North Chelmsford eatery as a backdrop.
Methuen resident Anthony "Tony" Privitera, 73, has owned the Route 3A restaurant with his wife Ann since 1953.

"The Simpsons" background design supervisor, Lance Wilder, is a former Chelmsford resident and longtime customer, Mr. Privitera said.

He called his small restaurant, which has six outdoor picnic tables, a "landmark for hungry Americans."

"We have customers from all the country," he said. "When people move away from here and they come back to visit, they come here first."

Although he usually does not watch the animated show, tomorrow he will watch it with the five grandchildren who help run the restaurant - John Vitale of Andover, Anthony Vitale, Maryann Vitale, Joseph Vitale and Annamaria Vitale, all of Methuen. They are all the children of Maryann Vitale of Methuen.

Will it help sell even more pizza?

"You know, it never can hurt," Mr. Privitera said.

Tony & Ann's is also scheduled to be in March 1's episode, when Homer helps Moe get a girlfriend.

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