Our favorite little wood oven pizza joint, The Pizzeria (previously pizzeria at Terry’s), is finally ready to open the doors to their new home just two stops down at 4901 Kavanaugh in the Heights this Friday at 5pm.
It feels like forever since The Pizzeria began the transition to the new location, but really we have only been without their delicious wood fire pizza for a few months. The move was announced last November and after a little delay in permits and, after the process of converting an old gym into a restaurant, they closed the previous location inside Terry’s Finer Foods in July.
The new space is a considerable upgrade from the old location. Size wise, at 3,700 sq ft, it is huge compared to the small corner of Terry’s Finer Foods the restaurant previously inhabited. Owners Jeremy and Jacquelyn did a great job at retaining the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere, while still taking advantage of the much larger space.
“We wanted to do everything we could to keep the intimate environment of the previous location,” Jacquelyn Pittman tells us. “We are only adding 12 more seats to the dining area, and utilizing around 1,400 sq ft of space for dining. We loved the atmosphere of the original spot, and I think we preserved it well.”
The new restaurant seats 50, up from the previous 38. Even though it is only 12 more seats, it feels like a big difference while still feeling cozy. Overall there is much more room to move around, and the seats are much better positioned. The dining area is now a nice square which helps with the overall flow as well. A portion of the extra space will be used for guest who are waiting to be seated, which was always a big problem in the old location.
The extra space largely comes from efficiencies in kitchen and dishwashing space that is more centrally located with the pizza oven and bar. The pizza oven area also features about three times as much prep space, which should help pizzas move faster than before.
There rest of the extra space fills a void in the Heights with a much needed rentable-party room. The room is separate from the dining area, and can be rented out with no commitments for food purchases.
“We really want this to be the place people in the Heights go for birthday parties and get togethers. It is designed to be independent of our restaurant,” Pittman says. “We will have no food requirements for renting the room. At first, we probably will not even allow our food to be served here. Eventually we may have a menu specifically for the room if people are interested, but ideally you can have the space catered and people can use it how they want.”
The room will feature a shuffle board, tvs, and seating. An adjacent room has a number of coin operated machines for guests and kids to play while visiting the Pizzeria. This room can be rented as well as part of the party room, otherwise it will be open for guests to use. They hope to open a patio as well in the near future, once they receive approval from the surrounding neighbors.
The Pizzeria started life as a mobile pizza truck, Pizzeria Santa Lucia, that set up frequently at Westover Hills Farmer’s Market and the monthly Westover food truck meet. It was always a favorite at the food truck meet, and always sold out quickly.
They transitioned to a brick and mortar in fall 2014 inside the tiny restaurant space in Terry’s Finer Foods. A combination of few seats and the best pizza in town meant getting a table to eat was not easy. The pizzas were always top notch, in my opinion the best in the city. The bar program under Dillon Garcia also became one of the best watering holes in the city.
The new location gives a little extra leg room, a huge boost to the bar area, and kitchen efficiencies that should help everything. It is exactly what the Heights needs and it will probably stay busy for a long time in the future. Stop out and grab a pizza and a drink this beginning this Friday at 5.