Rapidly growing pizza business Moonlight Pizza is taking over the former Little 5 Pizza space in the Little Five Points neighborhood.
Owned by Joseph Wescom, Moonlight Pizza currently has a location at 2730 Greenbriar Pkwy, which opened two months ago and one in Jacksonville, Florida which opened last week. Other Moonlight Pizzas are in the works for Hapeville and Old National Highway, as well as locations in Michigan, Texas, Minnesota and the greater Georgia area.
Steve Josovitz of the Shumacher Group, Inc. represented the seller in the transaction. Little 5 Pizza was open since 1987 before closing this year.
Open from 11 a.m.-4 a.m. daily, Moonlight Pizza offers a menu of starters, wings, salads, pastas, sandwiches, calzones, strombolis and desserts. Specialty pizzas include the Philly topped with Philly-style chicken or beef; the Meat Hole with pepperoni, sausage, hamburger and bacon; and the Greek Hole with artichoke, spinach and feta cheese.
“I’ve owned a couple of pizza places, but with this I really wanted to build a brand that was different than anything else out there,” Wescom said. “We’re very focused on late night. It’s almost nonexistent, especially when you’re talking about vegan food.”
The New York-style crust is made with gluten-free flour, and everything on the menu, from pizzas to pastas, will have a vegan equivalent. He developed all the recipes over the past seven months with Moonlight’s culinary director, with everything, including the dough and sauces, made in-house.
Initially, the restaurant will serve beer and wine, with plans to offer liquor in the future.
Wescom, who attended culinary school in Italy and has been in the restaurant industry for 25 years, said he’s also proud of Moonlight’s “really diverse team” and status as a Native American and Black-owned business.
Wescom said he plans to make a few changes to the 1,260-square-foot space at 422 Seminole Ave. NE that seats 50, with a 20-seat outdoor patio, but will “keep the culture and feel of Little 5 Pizza in there.”
The booths, which have been signed by Little 5 Pizza customers over the years, will be repainted, but the restaurant will have markers out for guests to start signing again “to help us start a new tradition,” he said. “It’s really an iconic place, and it’s very exciting for us to be there and to be able to keep it a pizza place.”
Each Moonlight Pizza location will also have a live TikTok feed showing the cashiers, kitchen and expo to “let people see what’s going on,” Wescom said.
Little 5 Pizza’s closure and the forthcoming opening of Moonlight Pizza is just the latest pizza-related news in Little Five Point in the past few months. In December, Cameli’s Pizza closed after many years on Moreland Avenue and 25 years in Atlanta. And the team behind vegan pizza concept Pizzeria Verdura Sincera announced several months ago plans to open in the former Zesto space at the corner of Moreland and Euclid avenues.
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Credit: Channel 2 Action News