The San Marcos staple for pizza, located on the downtown square at 110 N. LBJ Drive, was in business for nearly 40 years and is expected to reopen under new ownership in late 2021.
Cody Taylor and Harlan Scott, the minds behind nearby restaurant Industry, have big plans for the space.
The shop, which was in a state of disrepair, will look quite different when it reopens. Construction of a full bar is planned for the main dining area, and a wall will be knocked down to give patrons a better view of the kitchen.
An additional patio area is planned for the back of the building, where the recipe for the original Valentino’s dough is scrawled on a freezer wall.
“We’ll have live music here in the corner, and we’ll have a long booth going all the way down,” Scott said of the patio. “This will be pizza in the front, party in the back.”
While the menu will change, they said some favorites will return, and they will be listening for customer feedback.
“The beautiful thing is, being independent operators, we can make changes pretty quickly,” Taylor said. “[Customers] are going to find things on the menu that they love.”
Scott said they contacted former employees, some of whom work at Industry. They also heard from the old Valentino’s customers.
“Now that we’ve announced it, people have even been more forthcoming sharing their stories and memories,” he said.
Taylor and Scott said their business will respect the original and respect the square’s existing culture. Pizza will still be sold by the slice, and a pass out window will allow for late night orders.
“Valentino’s, if anything, it was simple,” Scott said. “As long as we keep it simple with simple ingredients and just put out solid decent food, I think people with memories of what Valentino’s was will come back.”