Chefs / Pizza / Pop Ups

Chef Joe Cicala’s Neapolitan Pizzas are Popping Up

In case you missed it last month, Chef Joe Cicala and his wife Angela of Cicala at the Divine Lorraine (699 N. Broad St.) started selling back alley pizzas from their South Philly rowhome. When people asked to buy the pizzas, they decided ‘what the heck’ and began selling them speakeasy-style without the requisite licensing and whatnot. Of course, the health department and L&I caught wind of it and promptly shut it down.

Personally, I thought it was a badass move. While I don’t applaud breaking the rules, especially when it comes to health department stuff, I didn’t blame them for trying. Obviously, it’s best to do things legit. Considering the surreptitious pizza developed a small following, Chef Joe is now doing it above board by popping up in other restaurant kitchens.

This month, they partnered with Gigi Pizza (504 Bainbridge St.) after owner Chris D’Ambro generously offered their wood fire oven to make the prohibited pizzas. Guess what? Advance orders sold out in less than a day.

This is just one of many pizza pop-ups to come. They’re also working on getting the proper licensing to continue their back alley operation. Not to mention, at the restaurant since outdoor dining is allowed and, soon, indoor dining at limited capacity will be permissible.

The moral of this story? Pivot, pivot, pivot. If you don’t do something, you end up doing nothing. Strike while the iron, er pizza oven, is hot. Heh.

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