The Corktown neighborhood is getting another infusion of pizza with the addition of a Detroit-style pizzeria. Michigan & Trumbull, a Detroit-style pizza restaurant owned by metro Detroit expats, is planning to migrate from its original location in Pittsburgh to 1439 W Elizabeth St. this fall.
Kristen Calverley and Nate Peck are the owners of Michigan & Trumbull. Calverley grew up in Royal Oak and went to school in Pittsburgh. In 2008, she returned to the Detroit area and met Peck, a restaurant industry veteran and a native of Southgate. The husband and wife team decided to relocate to Pittsburgh to pursue their goal of opening a food truck focused on soups in 2012, but soon became fixated with making the pizza they had grown up eating.
“We were trying all these local pizzas and none of them were like Jet’s, or Buddy’s, or the square pizzas that we had growing up,” Calverley says. Together, they began developing their own recipes for Detroit-style pan pizzas at home and sharing them with their friends. Their restaurant Michigan & Trumbull debuted with Detroit-style squares in the Federal Galley (one of two Pittsburgh food halls run by the Galley Group) in December 2017.
Michigan & Trumbull makes its squares using traditional blue pans and brick cheese, but the presentation has a trendier feel to the square slices that have helped the style flourish across the country in recent years as spots such as Emmy Squared in New York, Via 313 in Austin, and Cellarmaker House of Pizza in San Francisco.
“What makes us different is we’re really stepping up the toppings,” Calverley, of how Michigan & Trumbull’s compares to the Detroit-style pizzas served at restaurants in metro Detroit. The food stall’s current menu features a variety of squares with names that give nods to the Motor City. One of the most popular says Calverley is the Packard Pepperoni, a combination of red sauce, mozzarella, pickled chiles, pepperoni, and a drizzle of hot honey. There’s also options like the Woodward Ave White with mozzarella, ricotta, red pepper flakes, and bit of garlic oil and fresh lemon zest dusted over the top.
Customers can also find vegan pizza options on the menu and items like Teader Fries — waffle fries with barbecue chip spice and cilantro ranch sauce. With its relocation to a larger space in Detroit, Calverley says the menu will expand with options like muffaletta sandwiches and fried calzones the restaurant plans on calling Boblo Boats after the iconic river ships.
Calverley says she and Peck began considering a relocation to Detroit after a space at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull became available in the Corner development. While the property on the old Tigers Stadium site ultimately was not a good fit for the pizzeria, the pair started to look for other opportunities in the neighborhood.
Michigan & Trumbull’s approximately 1,800-square-foot restaurant seats 60 people with 10 stools at the bar. Ferndale-based Five/Eighths Architecture, the firm behind designs at Voyager and Lovers Only, has been tapped to buildout Michigan & Trumbull’s space. “We want it to feel like it’s bar that’s been there forever,” Calvery says of the vision for the restaurant. Woodward Throwbacks is supply reclaimed wood paneling for the walls. The restaurant is also adding stairs, which will someday allow the pizzeria to expand onto the rooftop.
During the day, Michigan & Trumbull will offer a counter service menu with runners delivering food to the table and will transition to a full-service restaurant and bar in the evenings.
In November, the restaurant won a $55,000 Motor City Match grant to help fund the project. If all goes according to plan, Michigan & Trumbull will close its food stall in Pittsburgh on August 5 in time to relocate operations to Corktown by late-August or September.
Stay tuned for more updates on the progress as the project moves forward.