By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Domenick Montanile merely wanted to throw his pie in the ring when he opened his first Venezia’s Pizzeria 21 years ago in Tempe. He had a feeling a shop so close to ASU would pay off — and it did.

Montanile now owns five locations, including one in Northeast Mesa at Higley and McKellips roads. His business sense paid off. Opened in 2010, Venezia has thrived, especially with customers from Boeing who take advantage of lunch specials.

“When I open stores, I focus on industrial zones for our corporate orders and big catering orders,” Montanile said. “There, you have Falcon Field and Boeing and they’re growing. From a residential standpoint, you have Las Sendas, Red Mountain Ranch and Alta Mesa. It made sense to have a location out that way.”

Venezia’s serves classics like pizza, pasta, calzones, wings and sandwiches, along with items such as Zero Crust Pizza Bowls, and cauliflower crust pizza.

But his acumen is going to soon add to the area, as Montanile is bringing Tempe-based The Fix Drive Thru Coffee to the empty lot between Venezia’s and the gas station.

“We’ve been working on this for two years,” Montanile said. “We’ll bring even more traffic to that area, with us being there for pizza, and The Fix for coffee.”

The shop boasts more than the average coffee, with Americanos, specialty coffees, smoothies, milk shakes, ice cold brew, snobowls, infused Redbull, Italian sodas, teas, hot chocolate and kid’s items on the menu, too.