The long-standing institution marked its 45th anniversary in early January, said General Manager Billy Pero.
“We’re just blessed that we’ve been here for so long,” he said. Pero’s opened its doors in 1969. Pero said his father, owner Charlie Pero, came to Atlanta from Batavia, N.Y., to work at a chain called GiGi’s Pizza before opening Pero’s.
The younger Pero said he credits the restaurant’s success to hard work, being consistent and using fresh ingredients.
“We do just about everything from scratch,” he said.
He said the best part about being in business for so long is the customers.
“A lot of our customers, they are like family,” Pero said. One customer helped the restaurant celebrate its 45th anniversary in a special way.
“Mr. [Muhtar] Kent — he’s the CEO of [The Coca-Cola Co.] — is one of our customers, and he was nice enough to offer to make some anniversary bottles for us,” Pero said. “We’ve been giving them out to all our customers.”
Pero’s serves many regular customers who come in the same time or multiple times each week, he said.
“It’s really neat to see three generations of families come in,” Pero said. “Customers like to say ‘Oh, I used to come here when I was growing up,’ and then they bring their grandchildren in.”
Customers aren’t the only ones who return to Pero’s. Mableton resident Robert Nash had a night job making pizza at the restaurant 38 years ago while also working at the Westminster Schools in Buckhead. He worked at Pero’s for a few years and then returned as a part-time cashier after retiring from the food services department at Westminster two years ago.
“Charlie Pero and I have just remained friends all of these years,” Nash said. “We’ve really been like family, not just friends.” He said it is commendable for the restaurant to be celebrating its 45th anniversary.
“For Pero’s to be in that spot for 45 years in that particular area of town says a lot about the place,” Nash said. “It’s just a good place and very good food.”
Billy Pero said his 73-year-old father, who was out of the country on vacation and unable to be reached for comments on this story, still has an active role at the restaurant.
“My dad — he does a little bit of everything,” Pero said.
He said his mother, Wendy, does the bookkeeping for Pero’s.