Check out the menu for Glide Pizza, now open on the Beltline for pies, slices

Pizzeria also offers delivery via bicycle

Rob Birdsong noticed something last year when heading out for lunch a lunch break in Midtown: It was a pizza desert.

“Within a week or two, I realized there was no pizza anywhere,” said Birdsong.

The Atlanta native, who worked at a pizzeria in college and ate pizza at least three times a week while living in New York City, said his idea to fill the “huge obvious hole in the food market” began to take form.

He was close to signing a contract on a Midtown space -- and then the coronavirus hit “and paused the conversation,” he said.

Instead of tossing his plans to open a pizzeria, he decided to look for a new location, and found the perfect home for his new venture right off the Eastside Beltline.

Glide Pizza opened Friday at Irwin Street Market, the Beltline-adjacent development across from Krog Street Market that also counts Jake’s Ice Cream, Academy Coffee and the Cooking School at Irwin Street amongst its tenants. O4W Pizza, which started in the space in 2015, moved to Duluth the following year. Owner Anthony Spina, along with partner Billy Streck, opened pizza spot Nina + Rafi on the Beltline in late 2018.

Birdsong said Spina stopped by for a slice before Glide even opened to show his support.

With a background in marketing and advertising, Birdsong admits creating the perfect pizza wasn’t exactly in his wheelhouse. So he enlisted Angelo Womack, a longtime pizza consultant based in New York City, to help develop the recipes for the dough, sauce and cheese.

The collaborative, tight menu features just a few specialty pies and a small list of toppings.

“If you’re the type of person who wants eight different toppings on their pizza, we’re probably not the right pizzeria for you,” Birdsong said. “We want to do a couple of things and do them really well.”

Credit: Glide Pizza

Credit: Glide Pizza

One of the menu items he’s most excited about is a pie made with pimento cheese from Reynoldstown restaurant Home Grown.

“People in Atlanta love their pimento cheese,” he said. “It’s shocking that you can’t find pimento cheese pizza anywhere.”

Birdsong said everything on the menu is homemade from the dough, sauce and mozzarella to homemade ranch and pickled peppers.

“We do things the hard way deliberately because that’s how you get the best-tasting pizza.”

Customers can currently get Glide’s “thin and crispy” pizza by the slice or a 20-inch pie. In the near future, look for salads and a square pie to be added to the menu.

For delivery, Glide eschewed third-party apps including Uber Eats and Grubhub. Instead, customers can order on the spot’s website, and their order will be delivered on an electric bike from local shop Edison Bikes. The bikes belong to Glide, though the Edison branding will remain on them.

Customers looking to pick up pizza can visit Glide’s window on the exterior of the building, Birdsong’s bid to “be as COVID-responsible as possible.”

As for future plans, Birdsong said he might still consider opening in Midtown down the road.

In the meantime, he’s just looking to build a slow and steady following.

“We want to take the next few months to earn the respect and trust of ATL-iens and develop a good reputation,” he said.

Glide is open from 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.

660 Irwin St. NE, Atlanta.

Scroll down to see the opening menu for Glide Pizza:

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