Zoli's Is Back

Dallas pizza restaurant rises like dough for second life with two star chefs

Dallas pizzeria rises like dough for second life with two star chefs

Zucchini, potato and pancetta pizza at Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern
Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern was the first to introduce the thick, square style of pizza dubbed "The Grandma." Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern/Facebook

Oak Cliff pizzeria Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern, which closed with great public mourning in February, will rise again — this time in Addison.

Owner Jay Jerrier has signed a lease for a new location on Midway Road in Addison, in a former Snuffer's. They'll completely gut the building and undertake a drastic renovation of what is an old building.

Jerrier forecasts a late fall opening, possibly by November.

On its second round, Zoli's will be bigger and more ambitious than Version 1, with an Italian-American menu that's inspired by the acclaimed Fortina restaurant in New York.

"We are very excited to get to work on our standalone 4500-square-foot space, with a full bar and a much broader New York-Italian influenced menu," says spokesman Jeff Amador. "There'll be round pies, square pies, salads, ridiculous sandwiches, pastas, entrees, and a whole lot more."

Chef Lee Hunziger, a genius with dough, will return. He'll be joined by chef Cody Sharp, who recently departed the employ of Filament. Hunziger will run the pizza and bread area, while Sharp will oversee the back of the kitchen supervising house-made pastas, "next level heroes," porchetta, family-style plates, and more.

Zoli's originally opened in 2013 as the brassy little brother of Cane Rosso, Jerrier's authentic Neapolitan chain. It was an old-school "slice" place, with a variety of high-end pizzas ready to be heated to order. It served three kinds of pizza: New York-style pies; the slightly thicker "Grandma"-style pizza; and the Sicilian, a thick, crunchy, bready square pie.

Although pizza aficionados recognized its greatness, the Oak Cliff neighborhood where it was located never embraced the concept. That is, not until its closure was announced, when suddenly people lined up for hours to try the pizza before it went away.

The space also had a built-in limited lifespan, as it was located on the land of what will become a live-and-play complex by Alamo Manhattan.

In addition to pizzas, Zoli's had some unique dishes not seen elsewhere including breaded zucchini fries and the buttery garlicky rolls known as "garlic knots." There was also the epic zeppole dessert, like doughnut holes, sometimes flavored with seasonal ingredients such as pumpkin.

But the restaurant was probably best known for its amusing sign where Jerrier and staff would post messages responding to trends in news or pop culture. After it closed, Eater did an homage to some of its best signs.

The restaurant cleverly used a doctored photo of its sign to tease its return, with the slogan, "First Jon Snow, now Zoli's back from the dead."