Rehoboth Beach, Delaware restaurant co-owner Nick Caggiano, Jr. has been missing since 7:30 on the morning of Saturday, January 12th, according to what his family has told police. This story is shocking to locals because the Caggiano family are local celebrities, having owned a wildly popular pizzeria called Nicola Pizza on North First Street since 1971. They recently opened another larger location on Rehoboth Avenue in 2010, which has also enjoyed enormous success. The restaurant was initially opened by Nicholas Caggiano, Sr. and his wife Joan. Their signature dish is a Nic-O-Boli, a patented stromboli-like creation invented by Nick Caggiano, Sr. for the restaurant’s inception. His son, Nick Caggiano, Jr., 47, has been a very involved co-owner for many years, spending much of his time in the restaurants, and he is locally well-known both by face and by name. Caggiano has apparently done this before, so authorities do not believe he is a victim of foul play. He has a habit of disappearing to “blow off steam” without telling his wife and family where he’s going, which, while disgraceful behavior, is not illegal and the Caggiano family has never reported him missing beforeÂ—because he’s never been gone this long. This raises the possibility that while he may have disappeared of his own volition, he may have run into some bad luck this time.
The added element of Caggiano’s local fame makes this story both confusing and compellingÂ—why would someone in so much spotlight risk doing so much damage to his reputation, possibly damaging the business as well? It’s a bizarre risk to take, and though his motives aren’t public it’s hard to imagine what his loved ones might have done to cause him to worry them to this degree. His family reported him missing on Tuesday, January 15th, and as of this writing they still have had no contact with him. As investigators hoped he would resurface voluntarily, and the prominent family was reluctant to make the story public, the information was not released to the media until January 18th. Friends and colleagues around Rehoboth Beach describe him as warm and friendly. Mark Blattel, manager of Rehoboth Toy & Kite, called him a “nice guy, very outgoing and very conversational.” He added, “I’m hoping for the best and really hope they find him.”
Family members have not made any public comment, but the official Nicola Pizza Facebook page has been thanking fans for the love and support on their behalf. The younger Caggiano is 5’10” and weighs 180 pounds, and has brown hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing khakis and a button-down shirt. He drives a gray 2013 Toyota Tacoma with Delaware registration CL93261. Anyone with tips or leads should call Detective Yeich at 302-856-5850, extension 224, or Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.
Photo: Delaware State Police