History of Federicis Italian Restaurant
When you visit Federici's Restaurant, not only will you be impressed
by our exceptional staff and warm decor, but by the history of the
building. The Federici family turned an old hotel into a Freehold
tradition that has delighted families from near and far for over 85
Today, Federici's can accommodate more than 275 guests in three dining rooms,
a full-service bar and lounge, and a beautiful outside dining cafe. Our extensive
menu is the result of years of dedication and hard work by our family, and a
deep respect for our humble beginnings.
Frank "Pop" Federici was born in Castle Grande, Italy, while
his wife Ester "Mom" Cirello was born in Foggia. They came
to America in the early 1900s to realize their dream of a new life
and new family. Mom and Pop Federici settled in Freehold, N.J. In
1921, Dante Federici, the second of four children was born.
1921 ~ Mom and Pop Federici bought the Wolcott Hotel at 14 East Main Street. There
were nine modest bedrooms upstairs, with the family living in two of them. The
remaining seven were for boarders. Downstairs was a billard parlor and small
restaurant that served only spaghetti and sandwiches.
1924 ~ Frank "Spat" Federici Jr. was born in the upstairs bedroom of
the Wolcott Hotel. Today, that area is our upstairs dining room, where a plaque
commemorates his birth room.
1928 ~ The growing Federici family was becoming too large to stay at the Wolcott
Hotel. Frank Federici built a seven bedroom house on Lincoln Place. They
continued to run the Wolcott Hotel and restaurant.
1932 ~ One of the first liquor licenses in Freehold Borough was issued to the
Federici family. The billiard parlor was transformed into a full bar where you
could get a beer for a nickel and a shot for a dime!! The Wolcott Hotel
was now known as Frank's Bar.
1938 ~ With business growing by leaps and bounds, the Federici’s added
a full kitchen. Mom Federici perfected many of the recipes that everyone enjoys
today. Years later, the continued popularity of the restaurant would make it
necessary to extend the dining area and move the kitchen yet again.
1946 ~ After serving the nation during the Second World War, Spat and Dante decided
to join their parents in the restaurant, making it a full family affair. In what
many consider a historic event, Spat, Dante and Mom Federici perfected and introduced
the "tomato pie" to New Jersey. Today, that original recipe is our
famous thin crust pizza.
1950 ~ Frank's Bar becomes Federici's Restaurant.
1952 ~ Tragically in December, the hotel part of Federici's suffered a large
fire that destroyed the third floor and almost half of the second. The Federicis
made the difficult decision to close the rooms to boarders, but eventually turned
that area into a dining room.
1980 ~ Federici's grew again, expanded the kitchen and the menu to include
many delicious seafood, chicken, and veal dishes.
1983 ~ Dante Federici, oldest son and treasured friend, died in September.
1988 ~ Federici's opens its' outside dining cafe with fifteen tables. It's a
huge success that still attracts happy diners from April to October.
2006 ~ Federici's Restaurant remains New Jersey's favorite family Italian restaurant
and pizzeria. Spat Federici and his beautiful wife, Patsy, are frequently at
their restaurant reminiscing with loyal regulars and greeting new guests. Four
of their children; Mike, David, John, and Lisa help to run the restaurant. Their
oldest daughter Margie, and her husband Pat, opened "Federici's South" on
2081 HWY 9 in Howell. Their oldest son Frankie, and his wife MaryLynn, opened "Frankie
Fed's" on RT 33 in Freehold.
Come down to Federici's Restaurant ~ Meet the family, enjoy our delicious food
and famous pizza that has been 85 years in the making.
History of Federicis Italian Restaurant - NJ