Posted Sep 17th, 2019 in Foodie Fodder
Downtown Wilmington draws people from all over the United States and beyond. Many of the people who live and work here were enticed by the same things—the attractive riverfront bordering a historic downtown that is always buzzing with activity. Don Shockley, the owner of Fat Tony’s Italian Pub on Front Street is no exception…well, he loves the ocean for fishing too!
Don operated a number of different businesses in California before he bought Fat Tony’s in 2012. He visited on a fishing trip and was instantly drawn to the downtown vibe and wanted to be a part of it. He also wanted to develop the Italian-American food options at Fat Tony’s because he has always loved good pizza. Don’s passion led him to train to be a certified pizzaiola.
After training, Don applied his skills in Fat Tony’s kitchen. He is very particular about how the pizzas are made and only shared his pizza-making skills with one trusted, long-time staff member. Still, he is a hands-on boss who jumps into the kitchen at a moment’s notice to ensure the pizzas are made just right. If you want to try one, you can get a 10-inch personal pizza for just $5.99 on Wednesdays. Additional toppings are extra.
Daniel Barbour has been a manager at Fat Tony’s for two years and notes that the staff works well together. This teamwork is reflected in the good service and friendly atmosphere.
Daniel says, “Fat Tony’s always has stuff cooking” and the menu offers many classic Italian-American dishes. Head Chef Chris Chambers works wonders with pasta and creates Don’s Famous Stromboli, which is a fan favorite. Diners can also choose soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers and more from the menu. Check out the half-price appetizers on Mondays.
Beyond food, the bar…which has inbuilt USB ports for charging phones and is reputedly the longest bar in Downtown Wilmington…is stocked with a wide selection of beverages including numerous craft brews and wines. Specials include half-price wine on Tuesdays; Trivia Tuesday adds entertainment to the mix.
If you’re looking for somewhere for all the family—including your dog—Fat Tony’s is the place to go. It is family-friendly and pet-friendly and has a nice covered, outdoor seating area at the back that seats up to 85 people. Both indoor and outdoor spaces are available for private events. If you want to stay connected to the Front Street vibe, you can also shelter from the elements and dine al fresco in the front entryway.
Hours: Mon-Sat, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Sun, 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (Hours may change in the off-season)
Fat Tony's Italian Pub
131 N Front St
Wilmington, NC 28401