By Staff

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS) – Frank Pepe Pizzeria is mourning the death of co-owner Gary Bimonte, described as the “pride and joy” of the well-known pizzeria.

The company, which has locations in Watertown, Chestnut Hill and Burlington among others in the northeast, closed its flagship New Haven location for the day on Thursday following Bimonte’s death.

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“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,” the company posted on its website. “He truly loved and cherished our family’s history, and he was so proud of the legacy that has carried through all these years.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont called Bimonte “an icon and cornerstone” of New Haven.

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Frank Pepe’s is regularly voted to have the best pizza in the country by food experts. Staff