Pies & Pints is the latest out-of-towner to join the central Ohio pizza ranks, offering a full-service experience and a multitude of craft beers.
The West Virginia-based pizzeria has opened in a 4,500-square-foot storefront 7227 N. High St., near the entrance of the Shops at Worthington Place.
General manager Kenny Harper said a lot of work goes into the dough, made on premises and tossed fresh before each order. The result is a thinner crust firm enough to stand out straight.
“You’re not getting that cardboard taste or that extremely doughy taste,” Harper said. “You get what I like to call perfection.”
The place offers 17 signature pizzas, including one with red grapes, gorgonzola and fresh rosemary and another topped with shrimp, toasted coconut, Thai curry, fresh cilantro and basil.
The pulled pork in the Cuban pie is marinated for 24 hours and then slow roasted. Ground sausage is seasoned in house.
“It’s more upscale, but you don’t feel like you’re eating in an upscale place,” Harper said. “The flavors you get to experience, we create those flavors.”
At lunch Monday through Friday, pizza is sold by the slice: $3 for cheese, $3.50 for pepperoni and $4 for the daily special.
Otherwise, pizzas come in 10- and 16-inch sizes. The artisan choices are $11-$14/$21-$24, while the building-your-own selections are less.
A smattering of appetizers, salads, subs and desserts complete the menu.
One thing that separates Pies & Pints from the competition is its beer program, said Rob Lindeman, president of the restaurant’s ownership group.
There are 36 taps, all microbrews or imports, with the exception of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a root beer made by Rogue.
There are 36 choices by the bottle, including many popular domestics.
All bartenders and servers must successfully complete a certified beer server course to speak intelligently about the inventory.
“We don’t want to be a place known for a lot of beer,” Harper said. “We want to be a place that knows about beer.”
“It’s something we take seriously,” Lindeman added. “I wanted to do more than talk the talk.”
Pies & Pints was founded in 2003 in Fayetteville, W. Va., by Kimberly Shingledecker and Daniel Bailey. Lindeman, meanwhile, was the former president and CEO of Max & Erma’s before it was sold to private investors in 2008.
Lindeman and Bluefire Capital bought Pies & Pints in 2011 and retained Shingledecker and Bailey as part of the company.
The Worthington location is the first store in Ohio.
“I really felt the next location had to be outside of West Virginia to prove the concept,” Lindeman said, noting there’s another restaurant in Charleston, and stores in Morgantown and Dayton that are set to open next year. Lindeman said he plan to open up two more central Ohio stores over the next 18 months.
Lindeman said he likes Worthington because of its demographics, its proximity to Interstate 270 and association with the Shops at Worthington Place, known as Worthington Mall, which is located-Southwest-of the I-270 interchange.
Pies & Pints is open lunch and dinner hours daily. For more information, call 614-885-7437.
Closed: Indian Palace, 5720 Frantz Road, and Swades VegG Express, 10221 Sawmill Parkway.
Saffron and tomato steamed mussels, courtesy of Executive Chef Phil Gulis of Luce, can be found at thisweeknews/com/foodandwine.