Gratzzi has served more than 500 free meals to laid off hospitality workers

Photo of a Gratzzi owner and chef
smith and associates

Gratzzi Italian Grille has served the Sunshine City for more than 20 years. It’s been the go-to spot in  for authentic Italian cuisine in the burgeoning downtown area, it’s one of the true original culinary gems.

With current events, many small businesses have opted to close their doors and cease operation completely. In light of tragedy, Tony Mangiafico, the owner of both Gratzzi and St. Pete’s Flute & Dram, was inspired to do more.

Since March 18, the popular Italian restaurant has been offering free meals from 12pm to 2pm daily to all fellow hospitality and food service personnel who have lost their jobs due to the tragic effects of the pandemic.

In just a few short days, Gratzzi has already given out 500 meals and has no plans of stopping, according to a release.

Another great day providing free meals for our local Hospitality friends !!Chef Tony Owner of Gratzzi and Flute and…

Posted by Gratzzi Italian Grille on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Gratzzi plans to continue feeding the community until supplies run out. Each meal offered includes a healthy, hearty salad along with fresh bread and an entree. Entrees offered thus far have been Lasagna, Eggplant Parmesan, Pappardelle Bolognese, Short Ribs with Mushrooms Risotto, Pesto Parmesan Risotto with Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, BBQ Ribs and Chicken Parmesan.

The response, Tony says, has been overwhelming. Customers have been so grateful to Tony and his team at Gratzzi for giving back to the community while so many people are struggling. To Tony, the gratitude alone is what keeps him going. Tony’s only hope beyond helping people, is making sure they know the importance of supporting small businesses.

I continue to be astonished at the resolve of local business owners to do all they can to support community members.

Gratzzi is located at 211 2nd Street South.

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to