Leo & Christine.

APL: Where are you guys from?

LP: Leo is from Firenze, Italy and I’m a native San Diegan.

What motivated you to open Landini’s Pizzeria?

It was just after the recession of 2009 and both of us we were being laid off from our jobs. His first job in the US was here in Little Italy and it was always Leo’s big dream to open a business of his own in this neighborhood. He decided to partner with his brother, Massimiliano, to serve an affordable meal to those who were reeling from the effects of the recession. Pizza by the slice was nowhere to be found in Little Italy back then so they decided to open one.

What drew you to make Landini’s pet friendly?

We rescued our first pet together, a bulldog we named Lando, in 2011. His name came from the nickname that all of Leo’s friends call him back home in Italy. As a puppy he had a lot of energy, so we were looking for a place to socialize him with other dogs and meet people who were experiencing the joys of a new pet. We went to a doggie happy hour and thought it was a cool idea, so we decided to host one of our own and that’s how Doggie’s on the Deck! was born and our patio became pet-friendly.

As a family owned business, we see it is important to you to give back. Which pet non-profits are close to your heart?

All of them! Doggies on the Deck!’s mission is to help as many different dog and animal welfare organizations as possible. We believe in sharing and spreading the love around.

Tell us about your new upstairs restaurant.

When we decide to open Ristorante Illando I had a vision in my head… my house back in Italy, my family dining table and the food I grew up with. So the experience I wanted to offer was an authentic Italian meal… in my house! That was a picture in my head and Christine was great in translating what was just a vision in my imagination into reality. For us, ILLANDO is a typical dinner in a warm a cozy Italian house! So come on in and buon appetito a tutti!!

What pets do you currently own?

Lando is a 6-year-old Olde English Bulldog and Cecco is a 5-year-old Terrier Mix.

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