Where Joe Beddia goes, lines form.
A year ago, pizza aficionados were positively beside themselves trying to snag one of the last pies from Beddia’s Montague deck oven before he closed his tiny, two-man shop on Girard Avenue in Fishtown in favor of an opening in larger quarters nearby. Lines formed six hours before the doors opened for the final weeks.
Pizzeria Beddia was never easy to deal with in its first five years, even before Beddia announced the shutdown. Phone in an order? Impossible. Customers had to show up at the late-afternoon opening only four days a week, place an order (only 40 pizzas a day), and then return, sometimes hours later, to pick up. Things really got crazy in June 2015, when Bon Appétit wrote that Beddia made the best pizza in America. Everyone, it seemed, wanted a taste. (Is it “the best”? Someone said it was. That’s all it takes sometimes.)
Beddia landed a book deal and showed people how they, too, could make tasty pizza at home.
It’s now a year after the Girard Avenue shop’s March 2018 closing. (Pizza Shackamaxon, a slice shop building a solid reputation, uses Beddia’s old oven at 115 E. Girard.)
Pizzeria Beddia — now set up about three blocks away on a back street beneath a sign with a neon peace symbol, with 80 indoor seats (more outdoor), a bar, and a full staff, including business partners (Greg Root, Nick Kennedy, and Al Lucas of the nearby Suraya) and a chef (Dan Britt) — might appear to be an easier nut to crack.
Upon Beddia’s opening last week, the reservation book filled immediately for the next 60 days, unnerving those who might have to wait for the unspecified number of seats set aside for walk-ins.
Get to 1313 N. Lee St. at the 5 p.m. daily opening, though, and the wait should be bearable. There is still no phone.
Pizzeria Beddia 2.0, as people are calling it, is bright, cheery, and family- and Instagram-friendly, with roomy seating beneath whimsical light fixtures from a series created by the art duo known as FriendsWithYou called “Little Cloud."
The menu includes only four pizzas (starting at $22) and a few antipastas, such as salads, cheese, and vegetables.
Beddia said the pizza is the same as it was before, though baking is done in two Pizza Master three-deck ovens.
The 20-seat bar has what Beddia calls “a simple beverage program”: wines, only two beers on draft, a kombucha, and three cocktails, plus soft-serve ice cream for dessert.