Pizza di Joey Opens New York-Style Pizza Stall at Cross Street Market

| September 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

Food truck Pizza di Joey opened its first brick-and-mortar location this week in a 679 sq. ft. stall at newly-renovated Cross Street Market. Pizza di Joey is adjacent to Royal Farms, the soon-to-open Southside Burger Bar, a common seating area, and the future Atlas Restaurant Group seafood restaurant and seafood stall.

Pizza di Joey is owned by Joey Vanoni who was born and raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and now lives in Riverside. He learned the art of pizza making at one of the country’s first pizzerias, Sciortino’s, in his hometown. Vanoni joined the United States Navy after high school and would bake pizzas to lift the spirit of his fellow service members on submarines and at bases. When deployed to Afghanistan, his team built him a brick oven on their base and every Friday became “pizza day.”

Though Pizza di Joey has been a traveling business, Vanoni preps his food at a space in South Baltimore and last summer he hosted SoBo Food Truck Nites at Knights of Columbus in Locust Point. Vanoni said he heard local calls for New York-style pizza, often on neighborhood Facebook pages, and is happy to bring the pizza of his home region to the neighborhood permanently.

Talking about his search for his first brick-and-mortar location, Vanoni said in May, “We were looking around at the area – Federal Hill, Riverside, and Locust Point. We’ve been serving here so we knew we had some brand recognition. We were seriously considering one location, but then I was approached in January about Cross Street Market.”

“When they [the leasing team at Cross Street Market] approached me, they were specifically looking for New York-style pizza,” he said.  “I’ve lived in the area for more than 11 years and used to go the Cross Street Market all the time. It’s an honor to be part of the tradition and legacy over there. When I first moved to Baltimore it was the first place I got a sandwich. I took my grandparents there when I was finding my first house.”

Vanoni said he’s excited about the nods to history the renovated market will have, including the neon signs and retro design.

The space in Cross Street Market hits all the features Vanoni was looking for – a license to serve beer and wine, a curbside service window, and the ability to serve late-night pizza.

The stall has a counter facing the aisle where customers can order as well as stand and eat their food. Another counter faces a Cross Street Market common seating area. The stall has two televisions facing the common seating area and one television facing the aisle. The TVs will show sports and Vanoni’s favorite films and shows like Rocky and The Sopranos. Vanoni also plans on hosting movie nights.

While not completely finished construction, the stall has black and white subway tile and wood accents. A new ash countertop made from a local tree will be installed in the coming weeks, replacing the current temporary countertops. A new Pizza di Joey logo made of a 24-inch Lillson pizza peel will be installed on the top header of the stall.

The open kitchen is painted in Pizza di Joey’s orange and black color scheme. Customers will be able to watch Vanoni and his team toss pizza dough and put pizzas in his Marsal & Sons brick oven. Vanoni is thrilled to have much more space than his team had in the food truck, and said they are now able to make pizzas much faster.

Pizza di Joey has a large carryout window that opens out to the south side of the unit block of E. Cross St. The stall will be able to pass carryout orders through the window and it will stay open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Vanoni will extend those hours to 3am or 4am in the morning in a couple months when it gets a late-night food license.

The carryout window is adjacent to Royal Farms which also has a carryout window. There is a protected ordering area by the two stalls that is surrounded by planters.

Pizza di Joey will be installing a large mural on the exterior of his stall around the carryout window. He said it will be an “iconic” design. Vanoni is working John “Woody” Wood from Duo Signage + Graphics on all of his signage.

Pizza di Joey currently has a limited menu serving master slices and its 24-inch pies. Right now it is offering its cheese, pepperoni, buffalo chicken, and jumbo lump crab dip pizzas. Slices start at $6 and pies start at $38. Vanoni and his manager Marcel Jennings will be adding additional pies to the menu and having rotating specials. Vanoni said he looks forward to getting ingredients from some of the other vendors in the market for his pies, and working with local vendors to get the freshest ingredients possible for his pizza.

The menu will also add both meatball and Caprese subs and platters. Vanoni’s meatballs and pasta sauce are his grandmother’s recipe “with a twist.”

The drink menu includes 12oz and 32oz beers that come in plastic cups. Beers includes Miller Lite, Peroni, Yeungling, and Blue Moon. Pizza di Joey also serves Sauvignon Blanc and pinot noir on tap. Soft drinks include Sprite, Coke, and Diet Coke. It will also have Deer Park water.

Pizza di Joey is currently open Monday to Thursday from 11am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am to 12am, and Sunday from 11am to 9pm.

Pizza di Joey will be launching its own delivery service in the near future.

The stall at Cross Street Market will not only be a new restaurant, it will be the new home base for the pizza truck, where dough and ingredients will be prepped and put on the truck. Vanoni plans to initially dial back the schedule of the food truck, but will bring it back to a full schedule in 2020.

Vanoni will hire a staff of about 12 to 13 employees. Vanoni has always hired veterans and will be working with South Baltimore’s The Baltimore Station (TBS) on hiring for Pizza di Joey. Vanoni is on the Board of Directors of TBS, which is a residential treatment program supporting veterans transitioning through the cycle of poverty, addiction, and homelessness to self-sufficiency.

Vanoni is excited to be open and called this “the second part of a lifelong dream.”

Read SouthBMore.com’s articles detailing the different aspects of the Cross Street Market redevelopment here.

Owner Joey Vanoni and Manager Marcel Jennings

About the Author:

Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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