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Toronto's West end will soon be home to Pizzeria Badiali, the brainchild of Ryan Baddeley (Osteria Rialto), Nick Halligan and Owen Walker (El Rey & Quetzal).
The three––who met each other at Bar Isabel––have decided to come together to open a quaint pizza shop in the space previously occupied by the now-shuttered The Good Neighbour at the corner of Dovercourt Road and Argyle Street. Baddeley lives in the West Queen West neighbourhood and has watched the transition of that particular space over the past six years.
"I always had my eye on that corner, and thought a pizza shop would do really well in there," said Baddeley.
As a chef, Baddeley's background is primarily in fine dining, but after a few trips to New York and Montreal, he realized that his passion for pizza had really expanded.
"Seeing the neighbourhood spots all hold such a great place within their communities was so inspiring to me," Baddeley said. "If you have a really good location and a really good neighbourhood, like this one, we could bring that same kind of culture to Toronto."
The new shop is located just outside of the main Ossington strip, an area of Toronto that is home to some of the city's best spots for food and drink. Though the atmosphere of the space and storefront will surely be reminiscent of a Brooklyn pie shop, it is still a priority for them to represent the culture of Toronto.
"Most pizzerias, you think of them more as being app-based and ordering through your phone. You don't really think of them as a place you walk up to grab a slice," said Baddeley. "For us, it's all about the experience and the connection to the building."
Baddeley, Halligan and Walker will be using their connections with small farmers and the Trinity Bellwoods Farmers Market to source produce and other goods for their seasonal pies and summer specials. The three are wanting to foster a strong sense of community with this new venture and aim to keep their products as local as possible.
Though New York-style slices and mouth-watering classics like cheese and pepperoni will be the focus, there is much planned for the menu. For lunch, they hope to serve a variety of sandwiches on fresh focaccia alongside a curated selection of house-made salads and Italian sodas. Once COVID restrictions allow for it, seating will be available on the front patio, where you can have a slice or even enjoy a full pie with some friends while people-watching.
Pizzeria Badiali will be located at 181 Dovercourt Road and is expected to open sometime in June.