The story of Catullo’s
Catullo’s Pizzeria is the brainchild of Carl and Dave Catullo, brothers and experienced restaurateurs. Veterans of the Jacksonville Beaches restaurant and bar scene, they originally launched Catullo’s Italian as a food truck in December 2015. The truck quickly distinguished itself with its made-from-scratch dishes based on Catullo family recipes, and built up a fervent fan base who ranked it as some of the best Italian food in the city. The brothers managed the truck by themselves with a little help from their “Ma”, who took orders and answered questions.
The food truck’s success led the brothers to open a brick and mortar restaurant. One of many Jacksonville food truck operations to invest in a permanent space, Catullo’s Italian opened in 2019 in the Intracoastal West area. An intimate space taking up a single storefront in the Village Shoppes of San Pablo strip mall, it serves the family’s trademark dishes for dinner Monday through Saturday. Like its food truck incarnation, Catullo’s Italian has remained one of Jacksonville’s best reviewed restaurants.
Coming to Toon Town
The brothers hope to capture that magic again with a second space, Catullo’s Pizzeria. The new location is located in Toon Town, a former South Central Marine Service, Inc. warehouse being turned into an eclectic (and distinctively colorful) entertainment venue. Located on Talleyrand Avenue not far from TIAA Bank Field and the Stadium District, Toon Town stands out for its elaborate spray paint murals depicting famous cartoon characters, most painted by local artist Kyle Monteiro. Called a “multi-functional event warehouse” by its owners, it currently serves as a combination food truck commissary, ad hoc art studio, and event space.
Catullo’s Pizzeria is part of a new phase in renovations for Toon Town, which hopes to capture more business from attendees of Jaguars games and other nearby events. While the space has hosted food trucks, Catullo’s will be a permanent location within the main building. As the name suggests, the restaurant will eschew the San Pablo location’s comprehensive menu and focus on pizza.
In September 2020, the Catullos announced on the new eatery’s Instagram that they had moved into the space and started testing recipes. Since that time, the Catullo’s Pizzeria name has been painted on the Toon Town building. According to subsequent posts, the owners plan to open the restaurant soon for lunch, Jaguars games and other events. Follow Catullo’s Pizza on Instagram at @catullos_pizzeria.
Article by Bill Delaney. Contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.