PizzaPapalis to open first Ohio location in ToledoWritten by Aya Khalil | | firstname.lastname@example.org
PizzaPapalis Taverna is bringing a taste of Chicago to Downtown Toledo.
“Our mission statement from day one has been to make the best pizza in America,” said Joe Sheena, one of the owners.
The restaurant, a project three years in the making, will open Feb. 2 at 519 Monroe St., contiguous to Fifth Third Field.
Sheena said he is confident the restaurant will do well.
“We believe in what we do. People have to eat. Our product is unique enough that I think we will draw attention to it … I get people e-mailing me all the time telling us how excited they are about us opening up,” he said.
The Toledo PizzaPapalis Taverna will be the first one outside Michigan.
“Our deep-dish pizza is unique; you’d have to go to Chicago to see the same type of product,” he said.
The deep dish pizza makes 50 percent of menu sales.
Some other menu items include thin-crust pizza, homemade calzones, Stromboli (oven-baked sandwiches), flat bread sandwiches, pizza entrees, soups and salads.
Prices on the menu are moderate, Sheena said.
“If you get a large deep-dish pizza, you’re going to feed four people out of that. It’s not one of those standard deep-dish pizzas where you order a large and feed two people,” he said.
Sheena said a lot of time is taken to make sure the pizza is made right.
“From the ingredients that we use to the way our ovens cook the pizzas, to the way even our refrigeration’s set up to make sure our dough is held at the absolute best conditions possible [and] even to the pans that we use, which are seasoned,” he said.
Having the restaurant adjacent to the ball park will be an advantage in that people will drop by to eat before a game and after the game, Sheena said. The field can be seen from the second floor of the restaurant.
“We have five windows that we went to great lengths to try to get, and I will have to say that the Mud Hens themselves, the managing group over there, were phenomenal in allowing us to do this. They’ve been great partners to us,” he said.
On game days, 10 percent of the restaurant’s proceeds will be donated to the Helping Hens.
Sheena said 90 positions at PizzaPapalis Taverna were filled in nine days.
“We’re happy to be in this community,” Sheena said. “Here are some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met.”
The restaurant has a capacity of 275. A bar area will be included, as well as 20 flat screen TVs throughout the restaurant, Sheena said.
The other owners are Mark Sheena, Tom Stegeman and George Krcek.
Visit www.pizzapapalis.com and click on links for more information.