Voltaco’s Italian Foods, the popular family-owned sandwich shop in Ocean City, will close for good this fall, after its 69th year at shore, the the owners said Friday on social media.
Voltaco’s opened in 1954, operating out of a single-story, stone-front building at 957 West Ave. Over the years, the shop’s blue awnings and vintage sign have been a signal to thousands of travelers getting into the town via the Ninth Street Bridge, that they had arrived down the shore.
The business’ last day will be Oct. 9, so those making Labor Day weekend trips to Ocean City still have time to order some of shop’s famous, giant cheesesteaks and subs, pizzas and Italian dishes.
In posts on Instagram and Facebook, Voltaco’s owners, the Taccarino family, thanked customers and employees for their loyalty, support and hard work during the restaurant’s nearly seven decades in business.
“We have done our best to approach every order, every season with our best foot forward, with the mindset of it could be our last, because in a business like this, there are no guarantees,” the Taccarino family wrote in its goodbye letter. “After much deliberation, we have come to the not-so-easy decision to make 2022 our last year in business. We do this with sadness in our hearts, as this life here is the only one we have truly ever known, but we are also happy and optimistic for our futures.”
The social media posts included a photo of the Taccarinos – identified Joe, Vicki, Jeff, and Jeffrey Jr. The youngest in the picture, Jeffery Taccarino Jr., is the great-grandson of Voltaco’s original owners and the fourth generation of the Taccarino family to work at the business, according to an Instagram post by restaurant from last weekend.
In their letter, the owners write about the pride they feel when customers, who first came to the shop as children, now bring their own grandchildren there. The Taccarino family also thanked Ocean City’s leaders for “doing every thing you could do to make this town a place that people would flock to.”
“We have stayed in business through wars, hurricanes, floods, multiple economic recessions, employee shortages, supply shortages, a pandemic, and just about anything else the world can throw at a small family business to try and stop it,” the family said. “We would be naive to think there is not some sort of divine intervention at play there.”
Fans of Voltaco’s reacted to Friday’s news about the owners’ intentions to close by sharing memories, some calling trips to Voltaco’s a “rite of passage” each year when they visit Ocean City. Others lamented that their summer vacations just won’t be the same going forward.
James Patrick LaBrake, and frequent Ocean City vacationer, wrote that his family has ordered food from Voltaco’s whenever they are down the shore in the summer for the last 30 years – and sometimes they’ve even made special trips from Philadelphia to satisfy their cravings.
“We’ve always appreciated you guys and your food, knowing it’ll be worth the trip,” LaBrake wrote on Facebook. “It was always a great feeling to know that just like the boards and Asbury (downtown shopping district), to the music hall, Voltaco’s was always there.”
The legacy of Voltaco’s could live on beyond customers’ memories – the owners hinted in an Instagram comment that they may be considering publishing a cookbook with all of their recipes.