but will there be burger pizza?
Duo behind Burger Joint and Taco Stand set to debut new Heights pizzeria
Chef Matt Pak and entrepreneur Shawn Bermudez are ready to put their spin on another of America’s most popular dishes. The duo behind The Burger Joint and The Taco Stand will soon add pizza to their repertoire.
Scheduled to open next fall, their new pizzeria — dubbed The Pizza Place, obviously — will be located at 2124 N. Shepherd Dr., which is just down the street from the Heights locations of the Taco Stand and the Burger Joint. Construction has already begun to convert the former resale shop into a 3,800-square-foot restaurant that will also offer a 2,600-square-foot covered patio.
As its name implies, the restaurant will serve pizzas, pastas, salads, and gelato, all of which will be made in-house. Pak tells CultureMap that pizza seemed like a logical next step for the growing restaurant group that currently operates three Burger Joints and one Taco Stand.
“Pizza was the missing fast casual piece of the puzzle for me,” Pak says. “Burgers, tacos and pizza. I like a challenge and I’ve been intrigued by the art of pizza making for a long time.”
As for the style of pizza he’ll be serving, it’s described in press materials as a New York-Neapolitan hybrid that will be baked in a Forza Forni gas-wood oven. Pak’s goal is to have a Neapolitan’s chewy outer edge with a New York pie’s crispy bottom. The chef explains that he considered other options like Detroit or traditional Neapolitan but prefers to forge his own pizza path.
“Like everyone else, I have my opinion of my favorite pizza,” he says. "Although I have had great pizzas of the styles you mention, there is always an element missing when trying them. I want to create a pizza that has my favorite elements from several styles and I believe people will enjoy what I come up with.”
Pastas will be made fresh daily. Like he does with tacos, expect Pak to focus on familiar styles with a limited number of well-chosen ingredients for sauces and toppings. The Pizza Place’s beverage offerings will include beer, wine, and cocktails.
Although a couple of burgers at The Burger Joint nod to Pak’s Korean heritage, the chef says those influences won’t show up on The Pizza Place’s daily menu. But that doesn’t mean he won’t showcase that side of his cooking at the restaurant — or in other venues.
“I might not include any Korean influence on the menu but I certainly will on our monthly specials,” he says. “Besides, we have a concept in the works where I will be able to veer outside of the box more.”
Stayed tuned for more details on that unnamed project. In the meantime, Pak and Bermudez have their hands full with upcoming openings, including a second location of The Taco Stand in Webster and a fourth location of The Burger Joint near Rice Village. In an interview with CultureMap in May, Bermudez acknowledged plans to open additional locations of The Taco Stand as well as a dessert concept. Details on those — including addresses and when they’re expected to debut — will be released in the months to come.