Ann Kim will still be making pizza at her new Edina restaurant, but it will definitely have its own identity.
The Pizzeria Lola chef / owner is planning to open Hello Pizza in early 2013 just off France Ave at 3904 Sunnyside Rd, serving New York-style pizza both by the slice and in a 16-inch pie. An expanded array of Lola’s swooned-over soft serve is planned, as well as cookies and a few sandwiches and salads. Delivery is possible, too, something Lola general manager Rachel Swan said simply wasn’t currently possible because of space constraints.
In short, Swan said the goal is for Hello Pizza to fit comfortably into the surrounding neighborhood of family-friendly businesses.
“[Kim] wants to make Hello Pizza super-friendly — a communal gathering space, but with a lot of the core ideas from Lola,” Swan said. “In that neighborhood, there are a lot of walkers and young kids, so [at Hello Pizza] you can get a slice instead of having to order a whole pizza. A classic New York, East Coast slice. Just jump in after school, grab a slice and go. It’s really that sort of vibe.”
One thing that won’t be at Hello Pizza is a duplicate of Lola’s centerpiece wood-fired oven. Kim is still mulling her options and talking to other pizza experts to determine the best oven to create true East Coast-style pies with just the right char.
Swan mentioned a soda fountain as a possibility, and beer and wine were being considered but not vital, and Kim’s love of cured meats and charcuterie would definitely work into the new menu. But Hello Pizza won’t stray too far from what has made Pizzeria Lola a phenomenal success.
“We just started curing our own bacon in-house, and she’s going to bring the meatballs over for a grinder,” Swan said. “We’re talking about maybe a couple sandwiches, but like Lola we’ll have that same concept of really focusing in on one thing and doing that one thing well.”