Serial food entrepreneur Pascal Rigo and business partner Nicolas Bernadi are set to debut the first location of a low-cost pizza restaurant they've been developing over the past three years. It's called Apizza, and it's getting ready to open Tuesday at 2043 Fillmore Street (at California).
The prices for the restaurants nine-inch pies — which appear to be of the super-thin-crust variety though not necessarily the same as those popularized under the name "apizza" in New Haven, Connecticut in the last century — are extremely low, as San Francisco pizza goes. Like Little Caesar's low. The nine-inch margherita pizza is just $2.75, while a pepperoni pie will run you $4.99.
Rigo and Bernadi say they want this concept to become "the In-N-Out of pizza," and perhaps nodding to that, there's also a cheeseburger pizza for $5.99, dubbed "Le Royale with Cheese." There are also muffuletta, BBQ chicken, and Italian sausage options — and the ingredients aren't the cheapest. Rigo explains to Eater that they're saving money in part by not providing boxes — pizzas to go will be folded up in regular, smaller to-go containers. They're using Mary's organic chicken for the BBQ chicken pie, heritage pork sausage from Creminelli Fine Meats, and organic flour from Petaluma’s 150-year-old Central Milling Co.
"We love to think about bringing delicious food to people in an affordable ways and being able to scale it," Bernadi tells Eater. And he and Rigo learned how to operate at scale back in 2012 when their former bakery-cafe business, La Boulange, was bought up by Starbucks. They were put in charge of revamping the coffee chain's baked-good array, after which they returned to the Bay Area scene reopening several shuttered La Boulange locations as La Boulangerie de San Francisco. The space where the first Apizza is opening is, in fact, one of those former locations.
The next Apizza is headed for Belmont, and it's not yet clear where else this chain may pop up.
Apizza - 2043 Fillmore Street at California - Opening Tuesday, September 24 - Initial hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily