A Sicilian Pizza Shop Is Opening at the Speedway in Brighton

The two-year-old Pizza Project pop-up is getting its own storefront.

A man and a woman wearing chef's aprons and baseball caps smile, standing in front of an outdoor food pop-up setup.

Dan and Allie Spinale of Pizza Project. / Courtesy photo

A pandemic-born pizza pop-up is putting down roots in Brighton: Pizza Project debuts at the Charles River Speedway this month, slinging Sicilian pizza by the slice, sandwiches, and salads.

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Co-owners and spouses Dan and Allie Spinale started the business in spring 2021 with the goal of pursuing different styles of pizza while using local stone-milled flour and focusing on naturally fermented dough. (There has been some sourdough bread experimentation along the way, too.) While they’ll be showcasing Sicilian pies at the shop, you might’ve caught them popping up at an area brewery with gorgeous wood-fired pies over the past couple years, and that will continue. “We plan to keep the mobile oven on the road and the wood-fired dream blazing,” Dan Spinale tells Boston, noting that the frequency might be a little less this year, but there will still be brewery pop-ups, as well as special events and catering. Incidentally, they’ve also popped up quite a bit at the Speedway, so it already feels like home.

The core menu at the Speedway shop will feature three pizzas from Pizza Project’s typical wood-fired menu, but in Sicilian form: cheese, pepperoni with hot honey, and what Spinale describes as “a marinara-style pie” that will come with a choice of stracciatella. The team has always been very focused on seasonal ingredients, so there’ll also be plenty of weekly specials highlighting whatever’s fresh.

On the sandwich side, Spinale is excited about options like a smoked maitake melt pressed with fontina and hearty greens, not to mention Pizza Project spins on classic sub shop items, with some nights featuring specials like a meatball sub or cheesesteak. (For now, the team is focusing on making just the pizza dough in-house; sandwich bread will be sourced from Iggy’s, mostly.) Also watch for fun snacks, like stuffed cherry peppers.

Pizza Project will offer a limited selection of nonalcoholic beverages, including kombucha, but the Speedway is full of boozy options: Customers will be able to enjoy their pizza in the Notch beer garden, or, coming soon, a common space shared with sake bar the Koji Club and South American wine bar Super Bien. “I’m really looking forward to having some pizza with a glass of Pais from Super Bien,” notes Spinale.

Spinale’s background is in food—“mainly pizza shops when I was growing up,” he says, “and then front of house.” He spent four years at Charlestown pizza hot spot Brewer’s Fork (and the gone-but-not-forgotten Mystic Brewery before that). Meanwhile, Allie Spinale has a background in retail management and has been working at Brewer’s Fork sibling Dovetail while the pair has been getting Pizza Project off the ground.

Pizza Project is planning for a “soft opening” any day now—watch for updates on Instagram—with a grand opening the week after. To start, the shop will be open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Sunday, as well as dinner Wednesday. The team has signed a lease through the end of the year, with hopes to continue on beyond that if all goes well.

Pizza Project joins the aforementioned Notch, Super Bien, and the Koji Club at the Speedway, as well as cocktail bar Birds of Paradise. (Previous food vendors Tipping Cow and Hummus v’Hummus have left the Speedway, but you can still catch the former in Somerville and the latter in Chestnut Hill and Sharon.) Keep an eye out for the Pizza Project opening later this month—and catch the wood-fired version of the business at April pop-ups at Notch’s original Salem location, Vitamin Sea Brewing in Weymouth, and Widowmaker Brewing in Braintree.

The Speedway, 525 Western Ave., Brighton, Boston, pizzaprojectboston.com.