Vol 7 No. 2 - October 4, 2006

It's a family affair at Oma Italian restaurant


SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
Form left the, the Mannino family, Roberto, Aldo, Sal Jr., Paul and Kelly offer pizza with a view of the beach.

By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer

Who doesn’t like pizza? There can’t be too many people, since pizza, in one form or another, has been around since the sixth century B.C. Even in the ashes at Pompeii after the eruption of Mount Versuvius, evidence was found of shops with marble slabs resembling conventional pizzerias.

Who doesn’t like the beach? No one who steps foot on Anna Maria Island, that’s for sure. What better way to combine pizza and the beach? There’s only one answer — Oma Pizza and Italian Restaurant across the street from the beach in Bradenton Beach.

The Mannino family has owned and operated Oma Pizza since 1982. Sal and Fi Mannino, originally from Palermo, Sicily, were vacationing in Sarasota in 1979 from their home in Brooklyn, New York, when they spotted land for sale on Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach. They bought the land, built a building, and established their restaurant three years later. Eventually, the Manninos moved their family to Florida, creating a true family run business and a tradition in Bradenton Beach.

At Oma Pizza, the Manninos offer lots more than what they call "The World’s Largest Pizza." You can enjoy pizza by the slice, pasta dinners, veal, chicken, shrimp dinners, in addition to appetizers, soups and salads. They also have beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee and desserts. The Manninos pride themselves on good quality, homemade fresh food, and offer an extensive delivery service that includes Anna Maria, Longboat Key and the mainland.

Every restaurant has its own unique story about its name and Oma is no different. When I asked Sal Mannino Jr. how his family named the restaurant, he told me the original name was "Roma," but his father soon discovered there was another restaurant with the same name and was required to change it. The easiest and least expensive way to accomplish this was to simply drop the "R" in Roma – thus becoming "Oma," necessity is always the mother of invention even in the restaurant business.

Next time you get hungry for the beach and for good Italian food, drop in and say hello to Fi, Sal, Sal, Jr., Paul, Aldo, Lisa, Danielle and Roberto Mannino. You’ll find them in the kitchen stirring the sauce and treating everyone like family.

Oma Pizza and Italian Restaurant
201 Gulf Drive N.
Bradenton Beach
778-0771 & 778-0772
Open 7 days a week
11 a.m. to midnight

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