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Capitol Hill food+drink | Italian Family Pizza coming to First Hill

577105_226130367512484_1106699299_nOne of 2016’s big food and drink trends on Capitol Hill will also play out on First Hill. Seattle’s Italian Family Pizza is slated to replace an exited check cashing business at the corner of Boren and Madison before the summer.

We know, we know. Pizza is coming everywhere you look. But the project from Steve and Jennifer Calozzi is also part of three big openings coming this year in which a food and drink venture will open inside a former money mart.

Steve Calozzi says the former check cashing businesses have a surprising amount of infrastructure in place. But mostly, he just liked the corner.

“I’m a city guy. I go out on the corner and I see the city,” Calozzi said.

Italian Family Pizza is also on the move because its original 1st and Seneca home is scheduled for demolition. Calozzi said he expects the original location to remain open until around June.

The new location for Italian Family will put the Calozzis in business just down the block from O’Dea where their son attends high school. Expect a long line for slices thanks to the Catholic, all-boys high school.

As for the larger trend of the notoriously high(er) margin pizza business sweeping Capitol Hill food and drink, Calozzi said don’t think too hard about it.

“When people are looking at costs, the margins are really good in pizza,” Calozzi said. “If people keep it simple, 15 to 20% profit.”

“But pizza is just me. It’s what I do.”

With an overhaul project led by Atelier Drome and hopes for an opening by May, the Calozzis aren’t really planning to mess with the success they’ve found with East Coast-style pizza.

“Simplicity is sometimes the success of the business. Keeping it simple and good,” Calozzi said.

“It’s not like anything you’ve ever tasted before — unless you’ve been to Jersey or Brooklyn.”

Italian Family Pizza is slated to open before the summer at 1028 Madison. You can keep track of progress (and check out lots of yummy pizza pictures) on their Facebook page.

Capitol Hill food + drink notes

  • So, what other Hill projects are rising from the leavings of the check cashing industry? We’ll admit the first one is a small stretch — sushi bar Iki from Japanese hot dog king Shinsuke Nikaido is taking over a small space next to the Comet where a check casher started to move in and then promptly bailed. The other fits the trend fully — and connects to bullet point two…
  • Dino’s Tomato Pie is now lining up for a “March 15thish” opening in the former Money Mart at Denny and E Olive Way. Not only does it nail down our check cashing theme — but, hey more pizza! Also this month, Pizzeria 88 is bringing wood-fired Neapolitan pizza to Broadway and Portland’s Sizzle Pie will import Burnside hip and pizza brunch to E Union. Slated to open later in the year, the folks at Still Liquor are also turning a former foot health and shoe business at Minor and Pine into a pizza joint.
  • (Image: CHS)

    (Image: CHS)

    Way back in May 2014, we reported that a tiny former video store on E Pine was lined up to be the Capitol Hill home for a new Oasis Tea Zone. It’s not often that you see a small project stretch out nearly two years without opening and then suddenly spring to life. But I-Miun Liu kept his lease, and kept his plans in motion, and his bubble tea is, indeed, coming soon to Capitol Hill.

  • Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 7.46.09 AMPop-up joints inside the Hill’s bars and taverns can be ephemeral. So don’t delay checking out what’s next for the kitchen at 14th Ave’s Bar Sue. Check out Melt from Nate’s Wings and Waffles owner Darren McGill. Here’s what Eater has to say:
    Starting March 15, Melt will take over Bar Sue’s kitchen and offer five mac-n-cheese options plus five grilled cheese sandwiches. The goods will be available Tuesday through Sunday 4 to 10 p.m., and more hours may be added later.
    You can learn more at
  • Stateside sibling Foreign National is being planned for a summer debut with curry puffs, disco balls, and periodic “Bia Hoi” parties (Fresh Beer in Vietnamese).
  • Beer? Happy first anniversary to Outer Planet.
  • Happy early March birthdays to Gnocchi Bar (2015) and Mezcaleria Oaxaca (2014).
  • Congratulations to Tacos Chukisexpanding this summer to South Lake Union.
  • Little Uncle is closed this week while the final preparations are completed for Big Uncle’s opening (on the same block!)
  • Seattle Food Rescue is pedaling across Capitol Hill to save perfectly good chow from the trash. But, because of state law, the neighborhood’s booming restaurant population mostly can’t contribute. Seems like a dumb state law.
  • One of the coolest things about being a community news site? The subjects of our stories talk back. Here’s Revolution Wine owner Mark Brown talking about his goals for the E Pike wine shop/wine bar:
    I want to jump in and be open about what we are trying to do at Revolution Wine. As both a wine store and a wine bar, we have two separate businesses with distinct cost structures and competitors. Our wine store competes with QFC, Total Wine and other Wine Stores on the Hill and we price our wines quite favorably with QFC and are consistently less expensive than other wine stores. And the two bottles I am aware of that are in Costco, we are priced only $1 more. Our wine bar has a very different cost structure, as several readers pointed out, the bar has significantly more operating costs: linen service, server salaries, leasing and operating dishwashers and wine refrigerators etc. For simplicity sake, we base our wine pricing in the bar on retail price plus corkage, as does Chuck’s Hop Shop. And we have listened and lowered our corkage to $15.
  • Kurt Timmermeister and his Kurt Farm Shop will hold the first annual Seattle Ice Cream Festival at Chophouse Row on May 22nd. “I just picked the date as the beginning of ice cream season,” Timmermeister tells CHS.
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3 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | Italian Family Pizza coming to First Hill

  1. This place looks like they will fill a niche, especially with Piecoras gone. Yes, there are a lot of pizza places but they seem to lack the classic, family friendly vibe a lot of us have nostalgia for. I had hopes for Mario’s on Pike but was disappointed that kids aren’t allowed to sit in the booths. As Seattle evolves into the foodie haven it is becoming I welcome a good, reasonably priced pizza place.