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Arizona Pizza Company ($$)
Pizza, American, Italian
Esselon Cafe ($$)
Breakfast, Brunch, Coffee Shop
American, Bar, Burgers
Additional Dining Info
Accepts Credit Cards
Good for Kids
$ - Cheap Eats (Under $10)
$$ - Moderate ($11-$25)
$$$ - Expensive ($25-$50)
$$$$ - Very Pricey (Over $50)
Open: 11:30am-10pm;Open till 11pm on Fri/Sat
*This restaurant has closed. If this restaurant is open or has reopened, just let us know.
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Top Reviews of Aqua Vitae
10/15/2014 - Jim Young
Great place on the first date with my future wife (in 1969). I'll stick with the fond memories (and lasting marriage) that started there.
06/30/2012 - Former Employee
Yup, I'm back. I was on Yelp, publishing a factual account of yet another dirtbag shack in Hadley, Mass, the Ecuador Andino store, when some how I found my way back here...Slightly Libelous...yeah okay. Sue me. You'll get nothing. I did in fact, work at aqua vitae, and I have the pay stubs to prove it. Everything I said is true, plus other things like...one day, sue was stirring up a big pot of garlic butter...enough to butter like...15 - 20 loaves
maybe more. When all of a sudden there was an announcement for everyone to gather around and feast your eyes on this HUGE bug like literally this thing was the size of 2 quarters. So we get called over to watch and then she just continues spreading that famous garlic butter all over those loaves, tin foils them, and stock piles them until they are ready to be warmed in the oven, and then served for you all to enjoy. Yum! (did this insect fall into it, or was it put there?)How about the time I was told to go pick up almost 10 dead baby chickens in the parking lot
Thats where all the eggs and meat were coming from
that little chicken coop back there
talk about airborne diseases! They want to open up another restaurant???? OMFG run them out of town! I dont care to go over all the details of my experience there, because as you all know it was more than 4 years ago but after putting up with bullshit like that for two years, including waitresses telling me to watch your mouth when they are flaming cunts marching around the kitchen proclaiming "Im not a slut anymore" or "my periods here" or tell us about their ex boyfriends "dainty dick" and other phrases inappropriate for the workplace, and all their other escapades like binge drinking at Westfield state, I have learned to do and say whatever I want. I asked one of the managers for a reference, he wouldnt even write back to me, after I always did what I was told and put up with absolute bullshit for 2 straight years. Why was this necessary? Because "The Truth will set you Free." All of us, actually. And as long as I always tell the truth, you can never do anything about it. You dont like it? You know where I'm at. Come and get it.
04/21/2012 - Aqua Vitae Fan
Hi Sheila...I realize that it hsa been some time since your post, but I thought I would respond to your question. The building, I am sorry to say, is in rough shape. The restaurant closed in March of 2008 and nothing has been done to it since that time. It has been broken into on several occastions by individuals who wanted to steal the copper pipe. I am sorry to say that it is an eye sore and really should be torn down by the new owners before someone gets hurt inside.
A few people in town worked to conserve the murals. I cannot say for sure whether they were all removed and preserved, but I know that several are in the possession of the town's historical/conservation commission. A lot of us were concerned about what would happen to those murals when the restaurant closed. We had hoped to go in and photograph/film the murals prior to the restaurant closing, but we were unable to because of the arrangements that the owners had made in their purchase and sale agreement. No cameras were allowed in the restaurant during the last few days/weeks that it was open. Those murals were part of what made the restaurant such a great place to dine.
07/04/2010 - sheila
as a former waitress in the late 60's when it was owned by the Sienkowicz family,my rememberance from those days was great pizza made by a guy who was French Canadian....Since customers,at that time entered through the kitchen as well the front,the kitchen was alway immaculate...The staff at that time was hard-working and fun-loving...of course it was a different time,a better time,imo.
Since the waitresses split their tips,we hustled to make a decent living....I was saddened to hear the place is gone...anyone know what happened to the building and the murals...An Arizona gal with fun memories of the ole Aqua Vitae.
10/12/2009 - A Former Lover of the Pie
I would go to this wonderful place before every UMASS game and would scarf down two pies split with four others of course I'm not the big of a pig. But they had the greatest pie I have or ever will eat and if I ever could come across this recipe I would open up a place with the same good ole pie.
12/26/2008 - Aqua Vitae Fan
Let me begin by saying that I'm not sure why "Former Employee" deemed it necessary to publish such a borderline libelous review of Aqua Vitae nearly ten months after it closed. I found that to be disappointing and more than a little disingenuous. I suspect that "Former Employee" never spent a day working at the Aqua Vitae and his comments about a dirty kitchen or sexual harassment by the owners are unfounded non-sense.
Prior to its closing, I had been going to the Aqua Vitae for the better part of twenty three years. While in college/graduate school my friends and I went there on almost a weekly basis for pizza. The restaurant certainly underwent some changes over the years (some for the better and some for the worse), but it always provided some of the best pizza in the Pioneer Valley. The Jung family was always very pleasant and they maintained a loyal customer base since taking ownership of the restaurant in the mid-eighties.
I will concede some of the other reviewers (besides Former Employee's) "negative" points. Some of the non-pizza meals were on the expensive side and the portions of those meals were frequently paltry. Aqua Vitae also had rather significant mark-up on their alcoholic beverages.
Overall, however, those were small prices to "pay" for a terrific dining experience. Knowing what to order at the Aqua Vitae went a long way to ensuring that you enjoyed your meal. The pizza at the Aqua Vitae remains some of the best thin crust that I have ever had.
In closing, there were many of us who were saddened by the restaurant's closure in early 2008. My wife and I went for dinner on the restaurant's last business day and it was nice to see the number of loyal customers who returned for one last pizza. We were heartened to hear that Mrs. Jung is considering opening a smaller pizza place in the Northampton/Hadley area at some point in the next few years. For those who were tired of the chain restaurants, the Aqua Vitae was a welcome change. I often wish that it was still open for business but I wanted to set the record straight as to the type of business it was while it was open.
10/21/2008 - Former Employee
This place is really disgusting. I worked there for two years. I have seen pizzas and dishes get dropped on the floor, and then simply just picked up and rearranged before given to you hungry patrons. The proper thing to do would be to discard it but no not so @Aqua Vitae. Also when salad dressing or bread came back it was examined and then reused so all you ppl who had salad dressing or bread were sharing it with everyone else cause it went from a container/bread warmer to your table then back in this container/bread warmer YUCK. everyones finger germs sopped up for you. Ive seen ingredients go on the floor all the time and into your food. A 43 year old guy who worked there was a rapist or something like that he rides his bike in Hadley he has a fu man chu mustache he thinks hes crazy. "Suzy" as you all say was always grabbing my ass and cursing @ everyone in Korean she dispises all the customers. The floors are the filthiest floors in the world i tried cleaning them so many times but I was told not too, so that all of your food could get really dirty and then you could eat it. Theres other stuff too but you dont want to know you might keel over or file a lawsuit. Have a nice life!
02/25/2008 - Peter Shaughnessy
I have been going to this place for since I was in high school in the - well a long time ago. This place has the best thin crust pizza I have had anywhere in the country. The murals on the wall were done by a local guy eons ago but they are like museum pieces. While you are waiting for the best thin crust pizza in the world tour the walls. This place is known for its pizza - so don't go there looking for more exotic fare.
03/18/2007 - disgusting food
We made the mistake of stopping at Aqua Vitae for dinner. I ordered a burger and requested crispy fries. When the food came the french fries were white and not cooked crispy and had to be sent back. Then I cut into the hamburger which was rare and it was supposed to be medium. The fries came out better after sending them back but why didn't they do them right the first time? Especially since the place was very slow. The burger was ice cold when the waitress finally came back to ask us how everything was and then the manager came out and asked if I wanted it cooked more? Who would want a burger cooked more after it was siting so long? They would not take the burger off the bill. They also had no re-fills on soda nad only had foot long grinders. The service was also very slow and we had to wait for the check and when it finally came we had to wait for it to be picked up. Then we were told she had to deliver pizza before she could cash us out? Very poor serive and food. Basically a waste of money and I will not return or recommend the place!
01/09/2007 - OBL
Aqua Vitae is the BEST pizza shop in the world! I have no idea why MKT feels he needs to take down a staple of culture such as AV! HE is a pizza terrorist! He is trying to warp your mind into thinking only facists go! Alla will destroy you MKT!!!!!!
01/08/2007 - M.K.T.
The Aqua Vitae restaurant has been in Hadley, Ma. for several decades. The Aqua Vitae's staying power is due to it's excellent pizza.
The dining area is a joy. Sitting down to a great pizza and a pitcher of coke, watching out the window as scowling Hadley and Northampton Fascists drive repeatedly to Wal-mart, you are in for a treat!
If you are a Fascist, keep driving, go to Ruby Tuesday or Spoleto.
09/15/2006 - A very disappointing experience...
A very disappointing experience. Their claim of "Fine Italian Cuisine" attracted us to the restaurant, but it was anything but. We split a $15 order of chicken parm, since usually one order between the two of us is quite enough. We each had a glass of wine, being careful to avoid the Franzia box wines that they offer. The rolls were pretty good and warm and served with butter not margarine. The entrée came with a salad so we ordered another one so we would each have one. The salad came in one bowl, about as much as most restaurants would give as a single order. The lettuce had many brown patches. The dressing was served in a bowl with a spoon, clearly too much for one dinner and therefore moved from table to table throughout the night. That was unappetizing. The dressing was cheap and had a lot of MSG in it. I know because, like about 25% of people, I get a bad reaction to MSG. I have a headache now. When the chicken parm came it was a single half-breast on a small amount of spaghetti. About half of what we usually receive at local restaurants for about $8.00. I left hungry, with a headache and about $35.00 poorer with tip. I'd say that, with that quality and quantity of food, the only reason they stay in business is that they are the only restaurant right off the I-91 exit when you take a right. My advice is to take a left and try one of the wonderful Italian restaurants in Northampton. You can eat at Spoletto in downtown Northampton for those prices and have one of the best meals you will ever have.
12/06/2005 - Mike Larosq
Nice little place but the staff was not pleasant. I also think that they have little bartending experience due to my drinks taste, but the pizza was great! Would go again for takeout. The inside is also beatiful with murals on the walls. Enjoy going it may have just been my experience.
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