San Diego

Little Italy's Own ‘Godfather' Is a Man the Community Can't Refuse

Nick Pecoraro has lived in the community since 1967

Little Italy’s own Godfather of sorts has become a prominent figure for the area.

Silver fox Nick Pecoraro dons his dark black sunglasses, gold chain, and Italian leather shoes as he sits in front of his large, yellow house on India Street.

“Once in a while, they call me the mayor or the Godfather,” Pecoraro said.

He’s known for his unique style, charm, and countless hours spent sitting on his front porch watching passers-by.

“I enjoy people,” Pecoraro told NBC 7. “Once in a while, somebody stops - we talk.”

The local Godfather has lived in his gilded, yellow house for 51 years. He inherited it from his father-in-law who was one of the original fishermen in the neighborhood.

Pecoraro stayed in the house, even after many of his neighbors left for the suburbs. He’s been offered more than $8 million for his home, but refuses to sell.

“We are not going to sell,” he said. “Not even my kids can sell this property. I have it in writing.”

Pecoraro moved to San Diego on November 25, 1967. He was born in a small town in Sicily, spent several years in the Sicilian military, moved to Paris for a few years, and then flew to San Diego on a recommendation from a brother-in-law.

“Everybody those days used to say ‘Go to America, there’s a lot of money everywhere,’” Pecoraro said. “But when I got off the plane, I looked at the street, and I didn’t find the money.”

Once in San Diego, Pecoraro quickly met his wife Josephine and had three children. His wife lived with him until her death two years ago.

Though, he’s never alone, as his dog, Piro, never leaves his side.

“He drives me crazy,” Pecoraro joked.

He’s watched Little Italy grow from a tiny immigrant village to a booming destination.

“Before this, it was dead. You don't see nobody. Now, you see too many people,” Pecoraro said.

Little Italy’s Godfather said he loves all the restaurants in the area, even personally knowing at least half of the owners in town.

As the town continues to grow, Nick Pecoraro will continue to watch, enjoying the ride.

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