A new pizzeria is slated to start serving slices and pies today along a stretch of Tulane Avenue in Mid-City that’s seen quite a bit of change lately.
Pizzicare (3001 Tulane Ave., 301-4823) is the work of Jeff Baron and Bart Bell. The business partners also run Crescent Pie & Sausage Co., a restaurant about a mile away in Mid-City that’s known for handmade meats, creative pizzas, Cajun dishes and craft beer. But Pizzicare will be a different type of restaurant. Fitted out with gleaming white tile and dominated by a large, glass-topped service counter, Baron likens it to a style of pizzeria common in the Northeast, places where an entire menu’s worth of different pies are ready to be served by the slice after a quick run through the oven.
“That means you can get your lunch fast,” he says.
Pizzicare also serves whole pizzas, calzones and Stromboli and salads. Baron plans eventually to add beer and wine at Pizzicare, though it’s serving just soft drinks for now. He also has plans to expand through franchise.
“I’m building it as a model for a franchise from the ground up, but you have to start with one and so right now we’re just focused on doing this one right,” says Baron, who also runs the Dough Bowl (1039 Broadway, 861-2200), a take-out pizza parlor practically on the Tulane University campus.
Baron and Bell have been busy lately. In addition to the Pizzicare venture, they’ve been retooling Crescent Pie & Sausage Co. a bit. Last weekend they closed Huevos, their breakfast/lunch joint adjacent to Crescent Pie & Sausage, and they’re now renovating that space to be a production kitchen and retail spot for the sausages and other artisan meats that gird the Crescent Pie menu. These meats are Bell’s particular specialty, and he’s making more as toppings for Pizzicare too.
Many of the breakfast dishes from Huevos will live on through a new brunch service they’re planning for Crescent Pie & Sausage. Baron says the first brunch is this Sunday, Sept. 11.
Meanwhile, those headed over for a slice at Pizzicare (the Italian name translates as “to pinch,” as in what you do when making pizza dough) may notice a new look in this long-rundown part of town. The new restaurant is in the center of a sleek new strip mall built in concert with the new Crescent Club apartments just across the street. Both are projects from the local real estate developer the Domain Cos., which has built other new residential complexes in Mid-City since Katrina.
The Domain Cos. also figures into something else Baron and Bell have in the works. The real estate developer plans to build a new residential and retail complex on what are now a cluster of surface parking lots near the Superdome, and Baron says that this fall, for Saints home games, Crescent Pie & Sausage Co. and NOLA Brewing will set up public tailgate events on one of those lots, selling jambalaya, pork shoulder sandwiches, sausage on a stick and other pre-game snacks. Look for them at the corner of Girod Street and Loyola Avenue at a future home game.
3001 Tulane Ave., 301-4823
Pizzicare serves lunch and dinner and offers delivery.