Brothers Carl and Dave Catullo opened Catullo’s Italian Food Truck in 2016, to bring their family’s Italian recipes to the masses around Jacksonville. Often ‘Ma’, their mom, would tag along to help take orders while the Catullo brothers would feverishly work on orders inside the truck. Now, this family affair is parking their talents in a new brick and mortar location opening later this year at the corner of Atlantic Blvd and San Pablo Rd, in the same shopping center as a Neighborhood Walmart.
Catullo’s Italian arrived in Jacksonville’s burgeoning food truck scene to great fanfare, with some describing it as the best Italian food found anywhere in the city. All pastas and sauces are made from scratch every morning, and a revolving menu of specialty pizzas and sandwiches are made to order. A favorite menu item is the rollup- sort of a hand-held mashup of a calzone and stromboli. Carl Catullo combined his family recipes along with the skills learned while working in local Italian restaurant institutions, Santioni’s and Paesano’s, to perfect classic, old-world Italian cooking techniques.
At first blush, one may wonder why such a popular food truck would choose to open outside of what many consider to be the culinary center of Jacksonville (the Riverside and San Marco neighborhoods). However commercial real estate professionals know that the Village Shoppes at San Pablo shopping center lies in an often overlook sweet spot sandwiched between the beaches community and wealthy neighborhoods. Within 1 mile of the new restaurant lies a population of 10,571 with an average household income of $78,055, and within 2 miles lies a population of 29,222 with an average household income of $77,623 – numbers that make Five Points (where household income averages $49,304 with a 1 mile population half the size then that of the Intracoastal West area) look much less attractive to savy small business owners.
Construction of the space is slated to start by year’s end with an expected opening date sometime in the first quarter of 2018. For a full rundown on Catullo’s Italian, check out the <ahref=”https://jacksonville.com/entertainment/food-and-dining/2017-06-03/restaurant-review-catullo-s-italian-family-affair-wheels”>Florida Times Union review by Caron Streibich</a>.