Longtime Sioux City pizzeria wants to come to Sioux Falls

Oct. 24, 2019

A longtime Sioux City pizzeria known for its “secret sauce” that has been in the family for 62 years plans to expand to Sioux Falls.

The owner of El Fredo Pizza is working with potential franchisees to open a restaurant here.

“We’re excited about moving up to Sioux Falls,” said Mark Lennon, whose father, Fred, opened his first restaurant in 1957. “We’re hoping it will go quick. Something could be rolling for sure by springtime.”

Earlier this week, Lennon took over the business from his brother John, who had owned it for the past 35 years and was ready to retire.

While there are pasta dishes such as lasagna, spaghetti, chicken alfredo, baked ziti and toasted ravioli, pizza is the star of the menu.

“We have one style of crust, and it’s called delicious,” Lennon said. It’s “right in the middle,” not too thin and not too thick. The sauce, however, is what sets the pizza apart, he said.

“Nothing has ever changed,” Lennon said. “There were 12 kids in my family. When we turned 12, we all learned to make the secret sauce and how to use the spices. When we turned 13, we started working in the store.”

Lennon said his father, who died six years ago, remained part of the business through the years. “Even though he was retired, he was here every morning pestering my brother. He just couldn’t let go.” Lennon laughed at the idea that John might do the same to him.

Lennon and his wife, Miez, plan to involve their children in the business too, extending El Fredo Pizza to a third generation.

The restaurant in northwest Sioux City seats 200, and Lennon, who has been researching the Sioux Falls market, doesn’t imagine the location here will be as large, “probably not to start with.”

Rudy Navarette, who left his family’s longtime restaurant in Sioux City to open his own business here, Rudy M. Navarette’s Tex-Mexican Restaurant, is excited about the possibility of being able to enjoy El Fredo Pizza without a drive south.

“I’ve always loved it,” he said. “They’re known for their sauce. They got original or mild, and the original’s where it’s at in my opinion. The mild’s good too, but the original is phenomenal. I’ve been craving it. Anytime I talk Sioux City food talk, that’s the top of the list for me personally.”

Longtime Sioux City pizzeria wants to come to Sioux Falls

A longtime Sioux City pizzeria known for its “secret sauce” that has been in the family for 62 years plans to expand to Sioux Falls.

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