Originally posted by Ciaoman
I grew up in Manchester, CT and remember that some pizza places referred to "LaPizza." Never understood where that came from. Believe "Apizza" is a New Haven phenomenon...I've never seen it outside of greater New Haven.
After some research it looks like "ah-beetz" might be Neapolitan dialect for the term "La Pizza" that you remembered: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/157813?user_name=&query=apizza
And when they talked about this a bit on the American Dialect Society mailing list back in 2002 one of the posters asked Jerry of Jerry's Pizza in Middletown about the term. Jerry, who's from Naples, responded that the term is spelled
"La Pizza" but pronounced
"ah-beetz" -- in other words, Neapolitans tend to drop the leading "L" sound in "La": http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0207b&L=ads-l&D=1&O=D&F=&S=&P=16742
If that's true, it would make sense that places in the New Haven area stuck with the term, given NH pizza's Neapolitan roots.
Another interesting nugget: There's a place in Portland, Oregon named "Apizza Scholls" (formerly known as "Scholls Public House"?!?!??!) and they don't even mention NH on their web page -- they do talk a bit about NYC though: http://www.apizzascholls.com/ApizzaPizza.htm
Finally, Jim Leff of chowhound.com fame put together a list of all CT restaurants with "apizza" in their name back in 2000. I already knew that there's a bunch here around Bridgeport but it was surprising just how many there are outside the immediate New Haven area (there's a cluster in greater Waterbury and one as far away as Norwich): http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/157542?user_name=&query=apizza
Googling a bit more turned up an "apizza" place in Sedona Arizona, another in Michigan and a couple in Italy. And Tony Zuppardi (the great-grandson of the founder of another great pizza place, Zuppardi's of West Haven) has his own place in Wilmington, Vermont named "Zuppardi's Apizza," but I don't think that counts since his roots are in the NH area too. Still, I gotta give him a shout-out since it's about the only place to get a decent pizza in Southern Vermont.