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Pizza Marvin, a not-so classic pizza parlor, arrives on Wickenden Street

The “modern house of pizza” breathes new life into old-school pizza.

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Pizza Marvin is Providence’s latest pizza joint, located on the corner of Wickenden and Governor Streets.

Pizza Marvin, a collaboration between chef Robert Andreozzi and renowned bartender Jesse Hedberg, opened its doors on the corner of Wickenden Street and Governor Street last month. 

Andreozzi drew inspiration from “historic pizza joints,” he said. 

Pizza Marvin offers New Haven-inspired pies as well as square slices, which hark back to New York City’s Prince St. Pizza and nostalgic Rhode Island pizza. Drawing from the classic combination of pizza and soda, the pizzeria is a one-stop shop that offers a wine and beer list along with Hedberg’s innovative cocktails that are canned and labeled in house. 

“Three of the drinks we carbonate have the profile of a soda: They’re a little bit sweet, they’re bubbly, they’re fizzy, they’re light, they’re fun and definitely lean kind of fruity,” he said. One of Hedberg’s signatures, the Transfusion, is a twist on the Moscow mule that includes Concord grape juice, ginger beer, tartaric acid and orange citrate. 

Also on the menu are reimagined appetizers like Taco Wings, wings with taco seasoning, or Buffalo Stix, a cross between buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks. Other snacking options include a raw seafood bar and, for dessert, italian ice and soft serve. 

“Our pizza kills but everything in here is a good bite to have,” Hedberg said. 

As for their square slices, “you can hear someone eating it from across the room; it’s so crunchy,” Andreozzi said. Beneath that crunch is a “soft and pillowy” texture. The pizzas are baked with olive oil in the imported pizza oven left behind by Roma Capoccia, the Roman-style pizzeria that previously occupied the same lot and closed last year during the pandemic. 

Andreozzi and Hedberg are “working with exciting artisans and purveyors” to incorporate quality ingredients like freshly milled flour, Jersey tomatoes and low-moisture Wisconsin mozzarella into their natural fermentation process to make their pizza “delicious and digestible.”  

Alisa Caira ’22.5, a former Herald columnist and post- writer, said of the plain slice she had earlier this month, “Nothing better has happened to me that was that simple … I can’t even explain how much better (that) slice made my day.”

When the space became available, Andreozzi and Hedberg, who met nearly four years ago and have been eyeing opportunities to work on a project of their own, saw their chance. 

Being able to open in Fox Point was “a dream situation for us,” Andreozzi said, citing the diversity of the area and access to students, recent graduates and East Siders. 

Before opening, they made some changes to the space, adding their own modern-yet-retro wallpaper, counter seating and red and white checkered tables. In creating their brand, the duo “paid a lot of attention to detail.” Their takeout packaging includes stickers, and they plan to sell some unusual merchandise like lighters and fanny packs. The space even features a bubblegum machine stocked with Pizza Marvin gumballs. 

Opening a restaurant during a pandemic comes with its challenges, although the duo said pizza might just be their silver bullet. “Name a better concept that lends itself to takeout and delivery,” Andreozzi said. 

“With the pandemic, many families are staying in,” Elena Song ’23, a former shift lead at Marco’s Pizza in Lewisville, Texas, wrote in a message to The Herald. “Pizza is a more-affordable option than many other carry-out food, so some pizza places have seen increased sales these past few month(s).” 

For now, customers aren’t allowed to linger inside of Pizza Marvin, as a COVID-19 precaution. When it’s warm enough, they plan to serve ice cream out of the small takeout window where customers can now pick up their takeout. 

Currently, Andreozzi and Hedberg are collaborating with a DJ to make their own signature playlist accessible to takeout customers by QR code. When the pandemic ebbs, they plan to open up the patio and place some tables out front. They envision customers sticking around for a couple of drinks while the weather is nice. 

Pizza Marvin is currently open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 

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