.Pizza Preview: Uncie Ro’s Opens in Watsonville

The new spot brings wood-fired, New York-style pies to South County

It’s been a long and grueling journey for Roland Konickie. For over a decade ago, he’s been pedaling his take-and-bake pizza at local farmers markets. Then, Konickie got his pizza into some of the local Whole Foods and other natural food stores. He even had a mobile business that involved hauling his wood-fired stove all over for catering gigs. 

Finally, Konickie has found a permanent home for his pizza joint, Uncie Ro’s, at the East Lake Village Shopping Center, sandwiched between the Villager and Carmona’s BBQ and Catering.

“We’re just happy to be able to open our doors to Watsonville,” Konicke says. “We’re a family-oriented business. It’s been a long journey.”

The Uncie Ro’s menu features eight pizzas, calzones, small plates (including homemade meatballs), salads and beer and wine.

Property manager Clark Codiga expresses excitement about his new tenant. 

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“Roland has the experience and knows what he’s doing,” he says. “He could do a lot of volume. We gave this place a new modern look but kept its charm.”

Indeed, the facility has served as a Round Table Pizza and, lastly, Chili’s Pizza that stretches back 40 years, Codiga says.

Konicke, a single dad with two kids who lives in Davenport, says that his love of cooking largely stems from his mother’s Italian side of the family.

“I come from New York, where pizza is a big part of life,” he says. “We emphasize local sources of organic produce—our sausage, meatballs and sauce are homemade. We’ll also feature daily special menus with things like kid’s cheese pizzas.”

Konicke added that he features local artists on the walls. Currently, eight paintings by Noah Gould are being showcased.

“Clark worked really hard to make this happen,” Konickie says. “I’m excited to get this going.”

Codiga says he aims to make the center a community hub alongside popular spots like Carmona’s, Sushi Q, Coffeeville and Fruition Brewery. 
Uncie Ro’s has indoor and outdoor dining options; it’s open Thursday-Sunday, 11:30am-8pm.

1036 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville. 831- 334-8752; uncie-ros-pizza.square.site.


  1. My husband had their pizza and I had a meatball calzone. Both were delicious. We will be going there often.

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Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.
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