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New York Pizza Department has added nearly 2,000 square feet of space to provide a family-friendly environment for dining and a private room for hosting events.

"We're excited about finally having the expansion done," says Kurt Cilen, who was born and raised in New York and grew up in the restaurant business before becoming co-owner of NYPD with his brother, Erik Cilen. "Actually, we've reinvented ourself. We have a new motif that's very modern with a clean and simple décor. We've also refocused our product to make sure it's consistent. As soon as this is done we'll be raising the bar again. It's an exciting time for us."

Part of NYPD's new expansion is the new private dining room, called The Boardroom, which is themed around the image of Wall Street. The room can hold up to 40 people for special events and has presentation capabilities for corporate meetings and plenty of room to celebrate during birthday parties and the like.

The expansion comes just in time - guests have fallen in love with the restaurant's authentic New York-style pizza that comes by the slice or as a huge, mouthwatering 24-inch pie. Whether they want to try one of the daily specialty pies or a staple from the menu, each is prepared using house-made dough, New York-style pizza sauce, freshly grated cheese and hand-cut vegetables.

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From left Kurt Cilen and Gary Matthews

Favorites include the Fungi Felony with mushrooms, onions, bell peppers and mozzarella cheese. Also popular are the Bronx Bomber, topped with grilled chicken breast, green peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese, and the Verrazzano Veggie, which comes with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, black olives, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli and mozzarella cheese.

Kurt Cilen says it isn't unusual for a group of friends or co-workers to sit down with one or several of the full pies and have an eating competition to see who is going to pay for the pizza.

"For a 24-inch pie, you can come eat with a family of four for less than $5 per person and still have a slice or two left over," he says. "You are getting what you pay for. We don't skimp on anything. We love what we do. We love making people smile and we do it through food and with our family-friendly atmosphere and great service."

Despite all the changes, the main theme for NYPD is still the same: drawing attention to service personnel and their dedication to the country. Kurt Cilen has several new service uniforms on display in the restaurant and is still offering all service personnel a 20 percent discount if they come in uniform and a 15 percent discount out of uniform.

By this fall, the menu will also undergo a transition as NYPD steps beyond pizza and into other traditional northern cuisine with iconic favorites from Philly cheesesteak sandwiches to Brooklyn-style hoagies. There will be an Italian beef sandwich like the ones served in Chicago's Portillo's, a roasted pork sandwich seen in Tony Luke's and authentic Philly cheesesteaks like those made at Pat's or Geno's, says Kurt Cilen.

"We started as a New York pizzeria and now we're transforming into a restaurant where you can have all those things that you loved from the North," he says. "If you've never been in the North, come check us out, and if you're from the North, welcome home! It brings so many people back to where they grew up."

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