We first got to know partners Johnny Lis and Brad Wiescinski at last year's Cleveland Pizza Fest, when they claimed second place in the rankings despite being an unknown player.
“People were amazed by our specialty pizzas,” Lis said following the event. “The feedback was tremendous. Many of them said they never tasted pizza like this in Cleveland.”
Since then, the duo has been working to open Pizza (216)
, a brick-and-mortar pizza café in the Old Arcade, in a storefront space across from the Corner Alley. After nearly a year of construction, the shop opens tonight, just in time for Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Pizza (216) specializes in New York-style thin-crust pizzas cooked in a 700-plus degree brick oven. While customers can come in and order a pie topped with any combination they’d like, the shop’s wheelhouse is specialty pies, like the ones they were dishing up at the Pizza Fest. That winning entry is the vodka pizza, which has a vodka cream sauce base, fresh sliced mushrooms with parsley and garlic, and is topped with fresh peas, parmesan cheese, and sliced prosciutto.
Diners will have to wait for that pizza, but tonight guests who swing by will enjoy a limited “soft open” menu of two appetizers, three salads, and three pizzas: a margarita, pierogi, and spicy, as well as build-your-own versions.
The team will continue to add menu items as the days and weeks go by.
A 12-tap draft system will dispense a selection of regional craft beers.
Check them out.