Dallas restaurateurs gentrify Maple Avenue with trendy pizza place
Maple Avenue, we have some pizza news for you: Social Pie will open at the former Southland Feed Store building at 5855 Maple Ave., from a team that includes the folks who own State & Allen Lounge and Nodding Donkey.
Southland, which for 60 years sold pet supplies, farm, and garden equipment, closed in 2014. State & Allen partners Jonathan Calabrese and Tony Winkler came upon the location during their search for a catering kitchen.
"Our catering business has been blowing up with companies who want to bring lunch in or open a commissary," Calabrese says. "We'd been looking over in the Medical District and felt lucky to find such a big building. Tony and I always wanted to open our version of a pizza place. At State & Allen, pizza is one of our mainstays."
Pies at State & Allen include pepperoni, margarita, four cheese, and wild mushroom. One of the most popular pizzas is the BBQ chicken with barbecue sauce, red onion, and bacon bits.
"Our pizza is hand-tossed. It's not the thinnest crust, but it's not a heavy Chicago-style pizza by any means, and we're using the best ingredients we can get," he says.
"But one thing we're trying to do differently is to be the first 3-star green restaurant in Dallas. We're going to be recycling and using as many biodegradable materials as we can, and we're not using any gas. We'll use smaller all-electric ovens which we've been using at our catering events, and people have found it comparable to what we get when we use a brick oven."
Construction is underway, with the addition of slider patio doors and other amenities. The venture will have a charitable component, with a percentage of sales going to organizations that change every few months. They're aiming to open by mid-September if all goes to plan.
The pizzeria is only the first piece in what they see as a grander concept, which will house not only their catering operation and corporate offices, but also other culinary adventures as well.
"Down the road, our plan is do a barbecue stand on the side of the building," Calabrese says. "We've been cooking barbecue at Nodding Donkey, and we finally bought a big machine for it, so we'd like to have walk-up counter service by next year. We're also hoping to do a beer garden with State & Allen-style food.
"The neighborhood is growing, and we'd like to grow with it," he says.