How could pizza possibly be any more awesome as a food species than it already is?
Well, if the three owners of the soon-to-open Paulie’s Pizza in Wisteria Plaza have anything to do with it, the weekend staple is about to undergo a revolution.
“We had a vision, a concept that we wanted to introduce,” co-owner Sherman Shahin said.
That concept: An authentic Italian pizza joint with a twist on both the standard atmosphere and the crusty creativity.
“It’s not your everyday New York pizza place,” Shahin, 27, said. The new restaurant at 6765 Land O’ Lakes Blvd will cater to local tastes rather than stick to a prescribed formula for authenticity.
Chef Vito Nardi, originally from Sicily, will rule the kitchen at Paulie’s. But “you can get a good sweet tea with your pizza here,” Shahin said.
“We believe pizza is universal,” co-owner Sean Hanley, 25, said. Not only that, but a perfect crust is a blank slate for Land O' Lakes pizza connoisseurs.
To satisfy the adventurous, the trio said they plan to be innovative in their menu options: a Shepherd’s Pie pizza and a gyro-inspired pie are just two of the creations they plan to offer.
“We’re exotic with our pizzas,” Hanley said.
Paulie's also will offer late-night deliveries—so you can get your pie any way, any time.
The restaurant will have its soft opening sometime soon—the community will be invited to stop by for free samples, Shahin said.
“We want your feedback,” Hanley said.
“We’ll call it feedback day,” co-owner William Crowley said.
They won’t just be feeding pizza fans that stop by that day, though. The trio also will deliver pizzas throughout the day to people and businesses in the community that helped them as they worked to renovate the restaurant space.
And the "feedback" won’t stop there, either. The trio plans to give back locally in a variety of ways.
“We’d love to be as active as possible in the community, ” Shahin said. Not just to grow the business, but "because we like doing it."
The owners are looking for local youth sports teams to sponsor, and said they are open to hosting car wash fundraisers for organizations at their location.
In addition, discounts will be offered to Pasco law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel and teachers, Shahin said.
Crowley, 27, a Marine who served two tours in Iraq, said the restaurant also is looking forward to partnering with veteran’s organizations throughout the Bay area to provide pizza donations for events.
If an organization would like the restaurant’s support, a representative is welcome to stop by the restaurant and chat with one of the owners, or call 813-996-6700.
“It may not be overnight, but we will do our best to make it happen,” Shahin said.
Editor's note: The restaurant planned to give away from samples on Friday, April 13, but had to reschedule due to licensing delays. The article was updated at 6:40 a.m. April 13 to reflect that change.