If you're a restaurant junkie, there's a good chance you've crossed paths with Joe Beddia. He has been a server at many of Philly's best eateries, and spent time making pies at Zavino while they were the toast of Philly's pizza scene. Today, Beddia announced that he's opening his own pizza shop, Pizzeria Beddia, at 115 E. Girard Avenue early next year.
"It's only maybe 500 square feet, which is just enough room to make pizzas, and have a handful of people eating in," Beddia told Eater. "I don't have any experience owning a place or managing employees, so as long as it's just me and one other person I will be able to focus on the product."
Beddia is dedicated to making everything in-house, including sausages, fresh mozzarella, and pretty much every topping on the menu. "I'm not going to make a big deal out of it with the customers, but I would really like to get the very best ingredients sourced from the best farms and make the best pizza I can," Beddia said.
As for style, he said that it's New York style, but not really. "I would say it's Neopolitan, but it's not really. I don't want to say New York style, either but I guess that's what it is," Beddia added. "I think balancing out toppings to make the perfect bite isn't done with as much care as it should be in the pizza world. So, we're going to focus on that, too."
Beddia isn't going the wood-fired route like most of the other high-end joints that have opened recently. Instead he's using a brick-lined gas deck pizza oven and focusing on high quality ingredients. And while he's in a neighborhood known for late night drunken patrons, Beddia isn't planning on feeding the nocturnal masses.
"If I can avoid dealing with late-night drunkards, I'll take it," Beddia said. "We will try and be open for lunch and dinner, and I'll close up around 10 or 11 at night."
The restaurant will not have a liquor license, and he expects the prices to be slightly higher than old-school pizza joints. "If you go to Osteria or Pizzeria Stella, you'll pay a lot for pizza, but it's a good pizza, so there's a market for it," Beddia said. "Ours won't be as expensive, but it'll definitely be more expensive than the places that normally do pizza by-the-slice. But, I think it's worth it for a better product."