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September 6, 2021

Sally’s Apizza starts Greater Hartford expansion plans


Since 1938, Sally’s Apizza has been serving its famous pies to everyone from The Rolling Stones to Vice President Kamala Harris at its renowned Wooster Street location in New Haven.

Now, some 83 years later, the New Haven landmark restaurant is poised to open a second location in Stamford, with plans to expand the iconic Sally’s brand further across Connecticut, including Greater Hartford.

With a 4,000-square-foot Stamford restaurant, located at 66 Summer St., slated to open later this summer, Sally’s has its sights set on several other locations, according to Marketing Director Krystina Nataloni.

The original Sally’s Apizza has been serving pies in New Haven for more than eight decades.

“We are fortunate that so many people are excited about having a Sally’s in their community,” Nataloni said. “We are in active development in Fairfield, The SoNo Collection in Norwalk and Wethersfield. We are also in discussions with other leading developers in the Greater Hartford area. If people are excited now, wait until they start seeing these new locations.”

Sally’s recently filed a building permit application to occupy ground-level space at The Borden, a mixed-use residential complex at 1178 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield, according to the town’s Director of Planning and Economic Development Peter Gillespie.

Nataloni said the team is also “actively developing” plans to bring Sally’s to the SoNo Collection, a shopping, art, entertainment and dining destination at 100 N. Water St. in Norwalk.

“We have been developing detailed expansion plans for nearly three years, and we believe people are going to be excited when they see our new locations,” Nataloni added.

Nataloni said Stamford was the perfect place for Sally’s first new outpost.

“Stamford is the gateway to New England and one of the largest cities in Connecticut,” she said. “Stamford has seen tremendous investment and development recently and it has given the city a new level of vibrancy.”

The Stamford Sally’s will feature more seating for customers, including a mezzanine and outdoor patio, dedicated area for takeout and delivery and a full bar. The interior will boast signature honey-oak paneled walls, featuring art and memorabilia celebrating Sally’s storied history as a favorite among musical artists, from Frank Sinatra to The Rolling Stones.

Just this past March, Sally’s gained a new fan in Vice President Kamala Harris, when her entourage ordered 15 pies to go when she paid a visit to the Elm City.

So, will the famous brick-oven pizza — founded at 237 Wooster St. by the late Salvatore Consiglio — boast that same, authentic New Haven coal-fired taste at the new locations?

Nataloni says absolutely.

“We believe the distinctive pizza that Sal Consiglio created decades ago is like classic Coke; you don’t mess with it,” Nataloni said. “We are keeping everything the same, from the exact recipes to the same cooking techniques. We have also diligently engineered our new pizza ovens to be brick-for-brick identical to the original on Wooster Street.”

Industry pride

The pizza industry is actually big business in Connecticut, not just in terms of the revenue it generates and people it employs but also the pride it generates.

Gov. Ned Lamont has gotten into friendly Twitter spats with other states, mainly New Jersey, over claims to which state is the pizza capital of the U.S.

Lamont, unsurprisingly, says it’s Connecticut.

New Haven state lawmakers even introduced a bill earlier this year to make pizza Connecticut’s official state food. The proposal didn’t pass.

Meantime, Sally’s growth plans come years after its chief New Haven rival, Frank Pepe Pizzeria, embarked on its own statewide expansion. Pepe Pizzeria, which was also founded on Wooster Street, now has a dozen locations, including two in Greater Hartford (West Hartford and Manchester) and several in other nearby states.

Sally’s expansion also coincides with its recent ownership change.

Its previous operators — Bobby and Ricky Consiglio, sons of the late Sal and Flo Consiglio — sold the business in 2018 to a Philadelphia-based investment consortium, Lineage Hospitality, which is providing additional capital to expand the brand.

Nataloni said the development team is not rushing to open one new location after another, because the goal is to deliver an authentic Sally’s experience to customers.

“Sally’s fans can rest assured that our entire team is hardcore about the pizza,” she said. “We obsess over keeping it exact and authentic. Our fans initially had anxiety when ownership changed. After visiting Wooster Street they know we are keeping it the same. We are committed to keeping the pizza exactly the same in all of our locations.”

Sally’s is no stranger to racking up accolades, and has made countless, national ‘best of’ lists for its legendary pizza, including ranking No. 9 in The Daily Meal’s 2020 List of “The 101 Best Pizzas in America.”

Sally’s Director of Hospitality Operations Rob Nelson said people travel far and wide to eat at the restaurant, so expanding the brand to new locations was a no-brainer.

“Our fans have been hoping for years that we would open up additional locations and we are thrilled to announce to the world that this dream is now a reality,” Nelson said.

While Nataloni would not disclose Sally’s annual revenues, or what the expansion plans will cost, she did say “hundreds of new jobs” will be created thanks to the new locations.

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