Alberto Strickhouser said pizza is all he knows, which is why food served at his new restaurant, Alberto's Pizza Shop, will serve the most fresh food made from decades-old recipes.
Strickhouser's grandfather, also named Alberto, moved from Sicily, Italy and opened the family's first pizza shop in Pennsylvania. About 30 years later, Strickhouser's parents moved to Florida and opened a restaurant in Daytona Beach. Over time, they opened more locations, including one in South Daytona, where Strickhouser worked after school.
In 2004, he built his own store in Edgewater and operated it for about 15 years. Recently, he decided to branch out and build in "good ol' Port Orange," where he was raised. The restaurant is slated to open in October.
"It feels like a dream come true," Strickhouser said. "It's something I've wanted for a long time, and I'm excited for my wife and I to put our own touch on it."
He said the restaurant will include a walk up bar, where customers can watch their subs made fresh, and delivery within a 7-mile radius, which is not offered at other Alberto's locations.
The restaurant, which will have approximately 40 seats, will keep its family-oriented and kid-friendly atmosphere, he said. While most restaurants offer crayons and paper for children, Alberto's will offer them a dough ball to play with while they eat.
Top sellers, including strombolis, calzones, garlic knots, salads, chicken wings and subs, will stay on the menu. Everything will be made in-house, including the dough and sauce, and with the family recipe created by Grandpa Alberto, who died three years ago.
Strickhouser said following in his grandfather's footsteps is a great feeling.
"He was a big part of my life, and being able to carry on his legacy is a big deal to me," he said.
His wife, Angelina, said she is happy to be on this ride with her husband. For years, they've driven past the location on 4036 Nova Road, hoping it would one day be Alberto's Pizza Shop. In September, they received the lease.
"I love watching him make his dreams a reality," Angelina said.
She said she loves that it's something they can share with their son, who is also named Alberto. At four years old, he is already kneading and tossing dough at home.
"He even named the store," she said. "He calls it 'Daddy's Pizza Shop.'"