Plans have changed for a D.C.-based pizza restaurant that was targeting an expansion to Cambridge’s Harvard Square. The restaurant, &pizza, hit a speed bump with the city’s zoning board in May following a series of proposed exterior design changes, as Cambridge Day reported at the time. &pizza’s CEO, Michael Lastoria, provided a statement on the developments after the board decided not to move forward:
Last week's hearing was one step in a longer journey; we sincerely appreciate the opinions expressed and the opportunity to continue a dialogue with the Board of Zoning Appeal (BZA). Harvard Square and it's passionate community are great examples of celebrating oneness - one of &pizza's core values - as a neighborhood that sticks together and stands up for its ability be different. We share that same belief - and remain confident that &pizza will fit right in and add value to the local culture and economy. Through this process, we have gotten to really know and love Boston and the Cambridge community and look forward to the day we can open our doors.
The &pizza proposed for Harvard Square was poised to take over the former Tory Row space, along with the Crimson Corner newsstand next door, as previously reported. The company will still pursue an expansion to Cambridge, specifically in Harvard Square, though further specifics are not yet available.
There are existing locations of &pizza in the D.C. area and Philadelphia, and a new restaurant is planned for New York. This would have been the first &pizza in Massachusetts. The restaurant’s menu features customizable personal pies that are cooked on a conveyor belt, much like the Nantucket-based Oath Craft Pizza, which has a handful of locations around Greater Boston. Harvard Square already has a number of pizza-focused restaurants, including Otto, Cambridge 1, Just Crust, and Pinocchio’s Pizza & Subs, and pizza is also on the menu at both Waypoint and Russell House Tavern.
Update, 6/12, 4 p.m.: This story has been updated to reflect &pizza’s plans to continue pursuing a restaurant in Cambridge.