Hassan delivers ‘personal’ pizza to students

An employee of Dominator, Hassan Emara delivers pizza to the College. (Elizabeth Yacone / Staff Photographer)

Many have seen Hassan’s white vehicle parked behind the Towers and heard him shout, “Five dollar pizza!” out the window, or dialed his number in desparation and awaited his arrival as he came to deliver pizza in the wee hours of the morning.

But besides his phone number, what do students really know about this man?

Hassan Emara, who will be 45 years old in December, is from Egypt and came to the United States about 20 years ago. He previously worked at a company and then inside a pizzeria, only to realize he prefers the social satisfaction of assisting hungry students at the College.

“I used to work in Domino’s and we got a lot of calls from the College, even after we were closed. I talked to the owner and we came up with the idea to deliver $5 late-night pizza,” Emara said.

Emara works for Dominator Pizza and Grill. He said, “(At the College) nobody knows the name of the place we work for. They just know Hassan.”

His famous deliveries have been occurring “for a long time — since 1994 or 1995, so almost 15 years.”

Emara refrained from divulging any stories of the extreme student belligerence that he has undeniably encountered. Seemingly flustered, he laughed and said, “What I see I’m not repeating. Sometimes it’s overboard.”

“Too many stories. I don’t want to say the bad things. Sometimes I see a lot, but I’m just there to bring pizza,” he said. “At parties, they (students) offer me beer. I tell them, ‘No, I can’t.’ I’m working, not drinking.”

Although Emara initially delivered for Domino’s pizza, he began delivering for Dominator pizza on Spruce Street in 2005.

After midnight until 3 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the late-night deliveries occur. According to Emara, Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest nights.

“Sometimes it’s fun, but sometimes it’s a hard time too. I’ve been doing it for a long time and I love the job,” he said.

“Everyone knows me from hearing about it from others. Freshmen see me and ask, ‘Are you Hassan?’ Everyone starts to know me and I try to make something that everyone likes for late-night food,” he said.

Word spread about the pizzas, and according to Emara, business has grown over the past five years.

Originally, he only delivered to different locations around campus, but as business spread, he started receiving calls from houses off-campus. His business branched out and resulted in him knowing the area very well.

“I know all the houses by name. Phi Psi, the Big House, different frat houses. People ask how I hear or know about parties, but I have connections. I receive calls from regular customers and bring them pizza.”

Emara relies on his brother Sam for assistance because they “work well together and Nobody can deliver all that pizza by themselves.”

Coming from a big family, Emara is married with five children — four boys and one girl, ages ranging from 4 to 17.

When he’s not busy delivering pizza or spending time with his family, he enjoys playing soccer.

Many have heard those outlandish stories from friends who have been driven home by Emara, or had him on their beer pong team, but Emara explained the reason behind these occurrences.

“If people need a favor, I’ll help them out. I find a lot of people lost wandering in the road. I help them (get back to campus) because I know the area well.”

When students sometimes ask him to assist in their beer pong games, he obliges. “I just shoot the ball to make them happy. I never drink or smoke with them,” he said.

“Almost two years ago, a girl from the volleyball team took a picture with me, a pizza and a $5 bill for a fundraiser. She made t-shirts with the picture and wrote on the back of them. She sold them in the (Brower) Student Center.”

When asked about his pizza preferences, he admitted to getting tired of it. If he has to, he makes pizza himself because he knows what he likes best — any pie with a thin crust, but he prefers “anything Italian, especially pasta.”

The Emara brothers also tackle the students’ hunger cravings at the neighboring Rider University.

Over the years, Emara has accumulated quite a fan base, as evidenced by the Facebook page devoted to him with more than 700 members.

“I’m not good with computers and technology. I heard from my son, ‘Dad, you’re on Facebook,” he said.

Each year in October he gets calls from students asking to borrow a Dominator’s shirt so that they can dress up as him for Halloween.

“Two nights in the year we are the busiest. Homecoming is the busiest full week, and Halloween night,” he said.