A Savin Hill pizzeria that was something of a Dorchester institution for the better part of four decades before closing in 2019 has reopened under new ownership. Venice Pizza (39 Savin Hill Ave., Boston) — once known for having some of the best Hawaiian pizza in Boston, at least according to former mayor and current U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh — opened its doors back up to the public on April 24, 2021.
The Venice reboot is the brainchild of brothers Joshua and Todd Winer (of Fort Point wood-fired pizzeria Pastoral fame) and partner John Taxiarchis, who previously worked at Todd English’s Olives and North End favorite Neptune Oyster. Joshua Winer tells Eater that diners can expect a thin-crust, New York-style hybrid.
The pizza is rolled with a pin to create a consistent thickness, and the dough — which is made by adding milk — is fermented for 48 hours. The pizza is cooked in one of Venice’s four gas-fired deck ovens, which have been tweaked to reach 650 degrees Fahrenheit. The result is a pizza with a crispy exterior and a chewy interior.
Joshua Winer, who worked as a general manager at Pastoral (which his brother owns) before opening Venice, lives in Savin Hill, and he says he was walking by the space one day when he noticed it was for rent. “I reached out [to the property manager], and told them that we wanted to bring nice food to Dorchester and to make it accessible in a COVID world,” he says. “We also said that we wanted to keep the historic Venice name. This is one of Dorchester’s favorite pizzerias. The old owners built a huge following, and we didn’t want to take that away from people.”
Venice is currently geared toward takeout and delivery, but the space will eventually feature high-top seating to accommodate some indoor dining whenever it is safer to do so, according to Winer. The restaurant doesn’t currently have a liquor license, but beer and wine could be in its future as well.
In addition to pizza, Venice serves a variety of sandwiches and sides, including a steak and cheese sub topped with Alabama white sauce and made with a spice blend developed by another Winer brother who lives in Los Angeles and who is deep into the barbecue game; wings that are brined in the whey from the mozzarella with which Venice tops its pizzas; pepperoni jalapeno poppers; various salads; and more.
Venice is currently open for dinner only, from 5 to 9:30 p.m., but plans to extend its hours to include lunch in the near future.