Stamp is from Niagara Falls, where his parents own a pizza restaurant. “Pizza, wings and subs, that’s like a Western New York diet right there,” he said. “I grew up there eating New York-style pizza, and that’s where my inspiration comes from.”
Pielands is located in part of the storefront space on Virginia Avenue in Virginia-Highland that was previously home to Going Coastal. The counter service-style build-out features an open kitchen with glass-enclosed shelves that display the current pizzas available by the slice.
The cozy sunken dining room offers seating at banquettes and along a rail with barstools facing the kitchen. Decorative touches range from a mural of the Brooklyn Bridge, to a glowing neon sign that reads “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Cheese,” and the floor-to-ceiling pizza stickers that cover the bathroom walls.
In addition to slices, there are five round pies, five square pan pies, and five hot or cold 12-inch subs made with rolls from Best Bakery, plus a variety of salads and appetizers, and soft serve ice cream.
Hard and soft drinks include draft beer, red and white wine, and signature bottled cocktails, which are displayed in neat refrigerated cases, along with shorty Miller High Life bottles, sodas and sparkling water.
Stamp explained a few of the things that make Pielands a bit different.
“We’re doing the sauce on top, which is kind of a nod to some famous places in New York City,” he said. “That’s pretty new to Atlanta. The Royal is probably my father’s favorite sub. It’s a Western New York tradition, with Italian sausage, pepperoni, sharp provolone cheese and caramelized onions, and it’s served toasted.
“This is my new baby, and I have creative control over a lot of things here. It really speaks to what I’m about, and what I want my pizza to taste like. Really the flavors are me, and what we do with the dough and sauce.”
So far, the McDowell, also known as the cheeseburger pie, has been the big hit among the round pizzas. It’s loaded with seasoned ground beef, special sauce, American and white cheddar cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed crust.
“I’ll tell you what. We had so many families in over the weekend ordering that one,” Streck said. “The kids were going absolutely crazy for it.”
It seems that the adults have taken to the bottled cocktails, which include a Martini, an Old Fashioned and a Negroni.
“There’s no bar here, so we wanted something where you could just do a quick grab and go,” Streck said. “People come in, grab a slice and a quick cocktail, and sit down for a bit.
“This neighborhood has been super supportive. I can’t tell you how many people come by and just want to stop in, say hello, and thank us for opening up here. It’s like that nonstop all day, every day. So it’s really been a treat to be embraced like that.”
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays.
1021 Virginia Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-968-9961, pielands.com.
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