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In almost a quarter century, Shaun Guerin, owner of three Beach Pizza shops, has found the recipe for success in a highly competitive business.
A Seminole High graduate whose family moved to the Sunshine State when he was 10, Guerin has been in the restaurant business all his life. He recalls his first job was working as a bus boy for the Red Cavalier Restaurant when he was just 14. Working his way up as a cook, at 18 he became one of the youngest kitchen managers at the Careless Navigator.
Then, in 1989, he opened his first Beach Pizza on Gulf Boulevard in Redington Shores, with what was then a unique notion to feature wings along with pizza.
“Being born in Buffalo, New York, it was just always my vision to offer my customers both pizza and wings, but at that time it was just not done. Now everyone is doing it,” he said. Ten years ago he opened his second shop, a Beach Pizza on Seminole Boulevard and 54th Avenue.
“We make all our own dough, breads and wings every day. We are always trying new pizza toppings, while consistently offering people their favorite pizza, with quick delivery and friendly service,” he said. “The pizza business has become very competitive in the last few years.”
Three years ago he opened Beach Pizza at The Largo Mall on Ulmerton Road, in a prime location near the movie theater. “We wanted a bigger place with room for families, groups and teams to sit down, relax and have great pizza,” Guerin said. Beach Pizza Largo has 54 indoor seats and patio seating for about 18, wide screen televisions to watch sports and video games.
With three pizza shops, delivery orders get to customers nice and hot, he added.
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Beach Pizza Largo's location allows pie lovers to try out one or two of Guerin's 11 specialty pizzas by the slice, as well as some specialty pizzas that might be added to the menu. Managers at each location run their own daily specials.
Guerin said his wings are very popular, along with 10 appetizer items ranging from potato skins and cheese shots, to fried zucchini sticks, meatball sliders, garlic knots filled with tuna, to blackened or buffalo shrimp.
“People are more health conscious, and they want a larger variety of dishes,” he said. For healthy eaters he offers antipasto, Greek, pasta, chef, Caesar and tossed salads.
Those who yearn for more than a cheese and pepperoni pizza can choose from Beach Pizza specialty pies that include shrimp scampi, Romano ranch, steak and cheese, eggplant, Mediterranean, buffalo chicken, or veggie pizzas or pies with almost any topping you can think of.
“We just want people to come in and try our pizza and, wings and they will be back for more; we get a lot of regulars at all our locations,” Guerin said. With three Beach Pizza shops and helping to take care of his four boys, a fourth shop will likely not be in his future, at least for a few years, he added.
“Nowadays people are looking for great food at an affordable price; we remain competitive with the big chain stores. People also like the idea that they are supporting a locally owned and operated business,” he said. “They come in and they are greeted by the same smiling faces and a staff that wants to make them happy.”
Beach Pizza Largo also features Pasta dishes, hot subs, calzones, stromboli, burgers, chicken sandwiches, paninis and wraps, which can be topped off with desserts ranging from tiramisu and cannoli to their popular cinnamon dots. Beer and wine is also available.
If You Go
Beach Pizza Largo
10500 Ulmerton Rd.