Business

Pizza Republic opens in former Cugini's spot in SLO

Pizza Republic, owned by Giuseppe's, has opened in the Marigold Center in San Luis Obispo.
Pizza Republic, owned by Giuseppe's, has opened in the Marigold Center in San Luis Obispo. sduerr@thetribunenews.com

Giuseppe DiFronzo, who owns two restaurants in downtown San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach, has now opened a third location: Pizza Republic.

It opened its doors Tuesday in the Marigold Center in SLO, between Taco Bell and Freshh Donuts, in the space where Cugini’s Pizzeria Trattoria was until it closed in February.

The restaurant offers pizza, salads, sandwiches and pasta.

DiFronzo began his first restaurant in 1988 as his senior project at Cal Poly. Then a young naïve businessman, he said, he has expanded the operation with the help of a great team, including many who have been with him for 20 years, as well as his family. “Now I have the good fortune of having all three of my children helping me — Michella, Giuseppe and Luca.”

Pizza Republic was designed to offer what DiFronzo called “simple, fresh, organic, good food at a very reasonable price.” He and other managers are currently focused on training the restaurant’s young staff, DiFronzo said, adding that he considers the first two weeks as a soft opening.

His two other Italian restaurants are Palazzo Giuseppe, located at 1010 Court St. in SLO, and Giuseppe’s Cucina Italiana, located at 891 Price St. in Pismo Beach.

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