Town backed by ex-Domino's chief gets 1st pizzeria

IMMOKALEE, Fla. (AP) – Domino's Pizza money may have helped build the new town of Ave Maria, but the first pizza place in the south Florida development will not be part of that chain.

The News-Press of Fort Myers reports that Milano's Pizza will open this fall in the town that serves a new Roman Catholic university. The school and town are both backed by Domino's founder Thomas Monaghan, who sold Domino's in 1998 and has used his fortune to create Ave Maria.

Milano's is an independent pizza restaurant. It will open in the town center across the street from a landmark 10-story church consecrated last year.

A corporate spokesman for Domino's says the area already is served by a Domino's franchise in Naples, about 20 miles away, and the chain has no plans for an Ave Maria location.