Detroit’s pizza options seem to expand daily with at least four new pie slingers opening in the last two months. Now a Neapolitan pizzeria and espresso bar combo is poised to fill a storefront in Southwest Detroit.
PizzaPlex, a community-centered L3C business, has been slowly introducing itself to the neighborhood through pop-ups. The establishment is expected to debut in May, pending final inspections, partner Alessandra Carreon confirms to Eater.
The space will serve as both a restaurant and community center focused on social programs including “cooperative labor models to training workshops, performance space for local and young bands, a programming platform for youth and senior citizens alike, green initiatives, responsible waste and impact management strategies, experiments in vertical gardening ‘food is free’ projects,” according to a release.
While Neapolitan-style pizza is available in Detroit, PizzaPlex’s version will be the real deal. To receive its certification as a purveyor of authentic Neapolitan pizza, PizzaPlex’s team has brought in Naples, Italy-based Scuola di Pizzaiolo (Pizza School) founder
for one week of mentorship and consultation. Cristiano is known for, among other things, setting the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest pizza (1 mile) and the most pizzas ever made in a 12-hour period (5,070 pizzas).
The Southwest Detroit restaurant and the Italian pizza school plan to maintain the relationship after Cristiano returns to Italy by facilitating a cultural exchange. PizzaPlex employees will have opportunities to experience month-long internships in Naples learning about Neapolitan pizza making. Likewise, the Detroit restaurant will host young Neapolitan pizza makers from the Scuola di Pizzaiolo for month-long stints to improve their English and learn about running a pizzeria abroad.
If that sounds like an appealing opportunity, PizzaPlex is currently hiring for a range of positions from pizza makers to baristas and bartenders. Stay tuned for more details on the restaurant closer to the opening.
Correction: A version of this story previously stated that Fabio Cristiano held a record for most pizzas ever made. The record was achieved within a 12-hour time limit. Cristiano is mentoring and consulting rather than training as previously stated.
• PizzaPlex Website [Official]