Underground Pizza Company to Open February 18

Underground Pizza Company will open its Silver Spring location on Friday, February 18, according to a report from The MoCo Show.

The restaurant will open in the former home of Olazzo at 8235 Georgia Ave. in downtown Silver Spring. The opening was confirmed by the restaurant via Instagram, adding “if everything goes as planned.”

Olazzo closed in May of 2021, ending a 15-year run in downtown Silver Spring. UPC announced that they were taking over the space last October.

Initially starting as a ghost kitchen, running pop-ups at several area restaurants including Olazzo, Underground Pizza Company opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Baltimore in 2020.

UPC co-founder Evan Weinstein, who also organizes Baltimore’s annual Moonrise Festival, founded the company after the cancellation of concerts and large-scale gatherings due to COVID-19 left him and other event planners thinking about what’s next. “I have a business that I’ve had for fifteen years,” Weinstein told Baltimore Magazine in September of 2020. “It’s shut down. I just had a baby; I had no plan.”

While stuck in quarantine, Weinstein began making Detroit-style pies from his home kitchen and selling to friends, but then word spread like wildfire, and soon business exploded. “All of a sudden, I’m selling out of dough from my house,” he recalled.

He connected with local chef Patrick Morrow, who helped open several restaurants in the Baltimore area, including Abbey Burger Bistro, Bluegrass Tavern, and Meli. Through Morrow’s experience and connections, UPC moved into a commercial kitchen space to prep the pizzas.

According to Wikipedia, Detroit-style pizza is a “rectangular pizza with a thick crust that is crispy and chewy. It is traditionally topped with Wisconsin brick cheese, then tomato sauce layered on top of the other toppings (rather than directly onto the dough). This style of pizza is often baked in rectangular steel trays designed for use as automotive drip pans or to hold small industrial parts in factories. The style was developed during the mid-twentieth century in Detroit before spreading to other parts of the United States in the 2010s. The dish is one of Detroit’s iconic local foods.”

Underground Pizza Company is the latest opening in a growing list of recent and upcoming restaurant openings in Silver Spring, including Tacosway Mexican Grill, Valenciana Wine GardenGuavaberry Dominican RestaurantFlip’d by IHOPThe Breakfast ClubFirepan Korean BBQJ. Hollinger’sDog Haus BiergartenPopeyes Louisiana KitchenBlack Lion CaféWillie T’s Seafood Shack/Be Right Burger, Kusshi KoMiss Toya’s Creole House, and the Commas food hall at Ellsworth Place.

Photo: © Brent Hofacker / Adobe Stock

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