The Paisan's Story

Our story begins with Lisa Cerciello meeting her now to be husband David Ferstler when they were in their mid teens. The Cerciello family is originally from Flushing, NY and moved out to Long Island in the 70’s. The Ferstler family is from Long Island, NY and was introduced to the Cerciello’s when they moved into the same neighborhood. The two families share a common bond, being family oriented and valuing what they do. David and Lisa respected these values and set a goal for themselves to one day own their own business.

In 1991, after succeeding in a few business ventures in New York, an opportunity arose for Lisa and David in North Carolina. David’s older brother Don propositioned them to take part in an ownership of a pizzeria. The first Michelangelo’s Pizza on Harrison Avenue in Cary was born. With this success, several other Michelangelo’s pizzerias opened, and all have been individually owned by family members. Another opportunity came about for Lisa and David in 2011, a dream that Lisa always wanted. The dream was to open a more upscale restaurant, something different from a pizzeria and this is how Paisan’s was born.

The word Paisan means good friend in Italian. A very good friendship grew after so many years of being together as family with Francis Ferstler “Pop Pop” (David’s Dad) and Frank Cerciello “Poppy” (Lisa’s Dad). The two enjoyed their family gatherings every Sunday, eating the household staple… pasta! Lisa took this concept of having good times and eating delicious homemade Italian food and built it for everyone to enjoy here today at Paisan’s. We are saddened that Pop Pop and Poppy are not here today to share with everyone Paisan’s Italian Ristorante. They both passed away just months apart before opening our doors for business. Now they can be seen as our greeters on the front window of our establishment. A sketch drawing of our two Paisans, Pop Pop is on the left and Poppy on the right. We hope you enjoy the food and company here at Paisan’s. Where you are always with a good friend!