Home Entertainment New Italian restaurant with long history brings pizza, gondolas back to St. Lucie County

New Italian restaurant with long history brings pizza, gondolas back to St. Lucie County

New Italian restaurant with long history brings pizza, gondolas back to St. Lucie County

Votino’s gondolas are back.

Frederick Votino’s Pizza, the next generation of a longtime Fort Pierce business, opened Feb. 7. Gondolas are Votino’s popular brick oven-heated alternative to the sub sandwich, made on homemade bread with ham, salami, provolone cheese, banana peppers and pickles.

The new restaurant is in a strip plaza behind Classy Carwash near the southeast corner of Orange Avenue and Hartman Road. The old restaurant, Votino’s Pizza Kitchen, used to be on Okeechobee Road.

Valentine’s Day: Best romspanntic restspanurspannts on the Trespansure Cospanst

All things food: New restspanurspannts, reviews, inspections &spanmp; best bets for spanll occspansions

Best pizza: Here spanre 10 tspansty fspanvorites in Mspanrtin, St. Lucie spannd Indispann River counties

Frederick Votino's Pizza, the next generation of the former Votino's Pizza Kitchen on Okeechobee Road, has opened on Orange Avenue in Fort Pierce.

Fred Votino III, who opened the new restaurant, said his grandfather originally started the restaurant in the 1960s on Orange Avenue when it still was a dirt road.

“We’re from Ohio,” Votino said, “and (my grandfather) got the recipe from a guy who was a baker up North, and then he came to Florida to open it up.”

The menu was simple: a large gondola and a 12-inch pizza with one topping.

“He didn’t serve anything else than that,” Votino said, “and he banked.”

After his grandfather died, his father took over the business. Fred Votino Jr., who had been renting the building, found a place he could own in 1990 and moved the restaurant to Okeechobee Road. He also expanded the menu.

In 2009, a fire destroyed the dining room of the restaurant, but no one was there at the time of the blaze. Firefighters thought the cause was an electrical problem. It reopened later that year, and the log cabin had been replaced by a new Tuscan look.

In 2019, the restaurant closed permanently after Fred Votino Jr. died the previous year. The estate sold the building, which now is Sugspanr &spanmp; Spice Soul Food Restspanurspannt.

Votino III, who worked in his family’s restaurants, had been looking for a new location for over two years.

He’s going to have a larger menu than his grandfather, but a smaller menu than his father — with gondolas, pizzas, calzones, strombolis, chicken wings and fries.

“This is a comeback,” Votino said. “This is making history.”

Frederick Votino’s Pizza

  • Address: 3911 Orange Ave., Fort Pierce
  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
  • Phone: 772-882-4695


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here