Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana Opens in Plantation

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, also known as “Pepe’s Pizza,” opened its first South Florida location this week at Plantation Walk, 341 N. University Dr., Suite 800. Frank Pepe established the eatery in New Haven, Connecticut in 1925. Pepe’s Pizza is the creator of New Haven-style “apizza” (pronounced ‘a-beetz’), characterized by a signature crispy yet chewy, slightly charred crust.

The Plantation site looks similar to the New Haven location by emphasizing its comfort, familiarity and tradition. The 3,072-square-foot, 106-seat restaurant in Plantation features a 14×14-foot, 104,000-pound oven, as well as a “paddle area,” where expert pizza makers craft made-to-order pies on an oak wood table using 16-foot-long paddles to place them in the oven. 

In its 97 years in business, the family-owned and operated pizza eatery focuses on sourcing the highest quality ingredients from start to finish, with the Plantation location using the same tradition.

“From Connecticut to Florida, we aim to create a warm, familiar experience for our guests, whom we consider an extension of the Pepe’s family,” Jennifer Kelly says, granddaughter of Frank Pepe. “We never deviate from our family’s original recipes cooked in our signature coal-fired, hand-built brick oven that includes iron castings from the New Haven restaurant.”

Pepe’s Specialty Pizzas include the original White Clam Pizza, a combination crafted by Frank Pepe himself featuring fresh clams with Pecorino Romano, proprietary oil blend, fresh garlic and oregano; Spinach Mushroom and Gorgonzola (mozzarella and Pecorino Romano) and the Amanti Della Carne (crushed Italian tomatoes, mozzarella, meatball, pepperoni, sausage, bacon and pecorino romano. The restaurant also offers a traditional “Pepe’s Salad” (seasonal greens, grape tomatoes, cucumber, shredded red cabbage, Kalamata olives, Pecorino Romano, and balsamic vinaigrette) or Caesar Salad, along with a selection of red and white wines by the bottle, glass, or carafe. Non-alcoholic beverages and various imported and domestic craft beer will also be available. Authentic Italian desserts include tiramisu, limoncello mascarpone and gelato.

“South Florida has a large influx of Northeasterners, many of whom know and love our brand,” Wilfredo Duran says, general manager of Frank Pepe’s in Plantation. “We look forward to introducing the rest of the community to real New Haven’ apizza.’” 

In addition to South Florida and Connecticut, Frank Pepe’s operates in Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York. A second South Florida location is set to open in Delray Beach in 2023.

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