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New pizza shop finds secret ingredient to rebound during the pandemic

Palazzo Pizza Italiana
Posted at 6:01 AM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 07:24:55-05

TAMPA, Fla.  — A Tampa man that opened a new business during the pandemic, something many would say is crazy, is finding success.

Jason Fox opened Palazzo Pizza Italiana in Tampa's SOHO district on January 28.

"I knew I always wanted to get into the restaurant business and hospitality as an operator," Fox said.

Fox is no stranger to a good gamble.

His work took him to the casinos in Las Vegas and the northeast, but there was something about coming home that made his dream come to fruition.

He brings the heart while his business partner, Dino Trafficante brings the humor.

"Yeah, there's way more cons than pros. Way more, but it's fun," Trafficante said. "I have been at home for a year and a half working out of the house so this saved us. You know you go home and you're sitting there for days on end and not doing anything. It's good for your mind to get out of the house."

In the month of opening, sales have been a success. Delivery in the world of a pandemic has played a major role.

"Things are great. We are starting to see the same faces in the dining room, weekly. I am noticing the same names on to-go orders," Fox said.

Palazzo isn't the only business taking a leap of faith.

A dog bar and taco shop are in the works down the street and the city is taking notice and is working to keep pedestrians safe when visiting the new businesses.

Plans are in the works to put a traffic light at Platt Street and Fremont Avenue to create a safer pedestrian path.

Fox and Trafficante know the risks and said they are well worth the reward.