Mama Palma’s in Fitler Square, one of Philly’s essential pizzerias, is closing after service on Sunday, March 17, for a renovation and rebranding. The long-running neighborhood favorite will reopen as Palma’s Cucina in mid-April.
The 40-seat Mama Palma’s opened in 1996 on the corner of 23rd and Spruce. It’s known for its pizza menu, which includes more than 30 options. But owners Brunella and Renato Russo, the sister-and-brother team who have been running the restaurant for 23 years, decided it was time to move away from pizza and switch their focus to southern Italian dishes, with fettuccine bolognese, chicken parm, eggplant parm, wood-fired branzino, and linguini and clams planned for the new menu. Pizza will still make an appearance, but the pies will be smaller.
The Russos’ parents moved to the U.S. from the Campania region of Italy.
The restaurant is also getting a new look, with an expanded foyer, a redesigned kitchen, and new paint, plus more beers on tap.
When it opens, Palma’s Cucina’s hours will be Tuesday through Sunday from 5-10 p.m.