Two months shy of its one-year anniversary, the popular Neapolitan-style pizza shop Citizen Pie
(15710 Waterloo Rd., 216-417-2742) has announced that it is expanding. The team has inked a deal to open a second location, this one in the SoLo neighborhood of Ohio City, a block or so south of the West Side Market. The 1,700-square-foot brick building (2144 W. 25th St.) is twice the size of the original in Collinwood, which continues to exceed the expectations of both the owners and customers.
“It’s just this tiny little place, but we have become a destination,” explains owner Claudia Young of the first location. “Things are going really well.”
The team, which also includes chef Vytauras Sasnauskas and partner Paulius Nasvytis, will be starting the process with an empty rectangular shell. When the dust finally settles in early spring, the shop will dish up the same great wood-fired pizzas to a room of approximately 40 guests.
The new eatery might be twice the size, but don’t expect Citizen Pie to alter its successful approach to business. Diners will still order and pay at the counter in a casual, server-free setting.
“It’s going to be pretty much along the same lines, but each shop will have its own flavor and vibe,” adds Young. “This location will be able to do some things that the other location cannot just due to size constraints, but we want to keep it pretty simple.”
New additions will include a few salads and Saltimbocca Neapolitan sandwiches, which basically take all the usual pizza ingredients and assemble them into sandwich form. Think wood-fired pizza dough for bread filled with mozzarella, arugula, tomatoes and prosciutto, which will be sliced in house on a shiny new slicer. Also new to the roster will be pizza fritta, a Neapolitan street food that quickly deep fries a stuffed double-dough pie. For dessert, the team is developing a soft-serve ice cream recipe for use in a new machine.
One big change will be the pizza oven itself. For this go-around, chef Sasnauskas is swapping his trusty Stefano Ferrara oven from Naples for an Acunto Napoli, also from Naples. Both are fueled exclusively by wood. The dough will be made from scratch at each site.
With growth comes the challenge of maintaining quality and consistency. But Young says that she and her partners have been preparing for this day since the beginning.
“Rarely is anything great ever accomplished alone,” she says. “We got extremely lucky early on with some phenomenal people and we’re so proud of our team. The most fun of this whole thing is having the potential to change the lives of the people who work for us.”
When it opens this spring, Citizen Pie will serve lunch and dinner.