Italian Family Pizza has new ownership but the First Hill joint is staying in the family.
Owner Steve Calozzi tells CHS he is moving back to the East Coast but will remain a partner and a big part of the pizza shop at Madison and Boren.
“We did build this up from nothing,” Calozzi told CHS Thursday morning. “We’re headed back to Philly. I never wanted to sell it.”
The new partnership pairs the Calozzis with investors who will own a majority of the restaurant and be responsible for its operation. It won’t be easy to step away. “You get to know people and they become your friends,” Calozzi said of his customers.
In 2016, Steve and Jennifer Calozzi moved their popular restaurant from 1st Ave to First Hill to make way for demolition and development downtown. Atelier Drome transformed the former Madison at Boren check cashing outlet into a workaday pizza joint where the Calozzis served up giant East Coast-style pies — and plenty of East Coast attitude. In 2016, the family’s struggles with street crime, homeless, and the addiction problem around First Hill’s methadone clinics became news.
Steve Calozzi tells CHS his family was able to find its footing on First Hill thanks to East Coast swagger. “In protecting our corner, we did it in a different manner. Then word got around we don’t take shit.”
Italian Family Pizza is located at 1028 Madison. You can learn more on its Facebook page.
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