The unequivocal best pizza in Boston hasn’t been available since August 1, when A4 Pizza was forced to shut down during a Saturday night service as smoke began to fill the narrow, Somerville Avenue pub. Today, co-owner Michael Krupp announced he would not renew the company’s lease at the still-dark building.
“It is with heavy hearts that we leave Union Square,” Krupp said via a press release, sent to Eater Boston this morning.
Krupp explained an underground fire involving Eversource utility wire left the entire building “in a dangerous and altered state, unfit for occupation or business.”
In an interview a couple weeks after the incident, Area Four’s director of operations Joe Barone said his company was getting very few details from the utility company, the City of Somerville, and the landlord. Today’s release reveals the A4 team was initially told the building could reopen in weeks, but that turned into months, the “indeterminate timeframe for restorations and repairs” led Krupp and partner Jeff Pond to terminate their lease.
The block from 443-449 Somerville Ave. also includes Dosa N Curry, a vegetarian Indian takeout spot; several apartments, and formerly, Aldrine’s Beauty Salon. After the August utility issue, all residents were forced to leave their apartments, according to the A4 team members and a man who said he lived in the building for 14 years. Aldrine’s Salon was gutted and moved to a new location shortly after the fire, a sign posted on its door indicates.
Dosa N Curry last updated its fans via Facebook on August 17. The restaurant’s voicemail box still says it hopes to open “in a week.” Reached today, Dosa N Curry partner Prabhjot Kaur said her operation plans to remain at 447 Somerville Ave. “Finally, Eversource came yesterday and has started digging the sidewalk to replace the main wires, so we are hoping we should be able open the restaurant soon,” she said, though she added the company has delayed the work for four months. “They really have taken forever to fix this problem.”
Krupp said the decision he announced today disappointing, “but [we’re] proud of what we achieved at A4 Pizza, from gracing the cover of Boston magazine to being named among the best pizza in the country by outlets such as Thrillist and Zagat. Chef Pond and I feel a strong affinity for the Somerville community, and are grateful for the support and patronage of our many customers who live, work and visit the area.”
Krupp added he and Pond “determined” to reopen at a new location in Somerville, according to today’s release. They are also reintroducing pizza-on-wheels and are actively seeking pop-up locations for A4 Mobile, a trailer outfitted with the same La Panyol oven A4 had.
In 2011, the original, wood-fired pizzeria and cafe opened in Kendall Square. Area Four experimented with a food truck as well as a mobile hot dog cart, before focusing its expansion on the pocket-sized, Union Square pub in 2013. Now, the company has a South End outpost in the works, as well as a Kendall Square bar arcade with Roxy’s Grilled Cheese.
A4 Pizza, formerly at 445 Somerville Ave.; areafour.com.
UPDATE, Tuesday, November 17, 1:30 p.m.: This article has been updated with comment from Dosa N Curry owner Prabhjot Kaur.
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