BRIDGEPORT — Beloved tavern-style pizza spot Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream is closing at the end of the year.
The pizza and fried chicken spot started as an Instagram project where home chefs, dubbed Eat Free Pizza, gave away pizza and tinkered with recipes. The group wrote in a Wednesday social media post they decided to end the project at the end of the year. The restaurant’s last day will be Dec. 30 and they will serve Sicilian slices on Fridays until then.
“We hope you will find some time to enjoy grabbing some pizza, fried chicken and ice cream throughout December,” the post read.
The restaurant, located at 960 W. 31st St., features Chicago tavern-style pizza, fried chicken by Kimski and ice cream pops by Pretty Cool Ice Cream, according to its website. The project also partnered with nearby Maria’s Bar and customers could eat the restaurant’s food inside the bar.
Those who will miss the super-thin crust, square-cut pizza can still get their fix at Kim’s Uncle Pizza in Westmont following the closure.
“So the pizza lives on there,” said Cecily Federighi, co-owner of Eat Free Pizza told Block Club Wednesday.
Staff also urged customers to follow Eat Free Pizza’s social media for future announcements. The owners thanked customers for their love and support during the previous few years.
“Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream had been a fun incubator project and social food experiment during the pandemic,” the post read. “We’ve loved serving you!”
Federighi said she, her husband Billy and business partner Brad Shorten started Eat Free Pizza out of their apartment in 2018.
“Just to get our recipe out there,” Federighi said.
Multiple partnerships later, Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream opened to the public in April 2020 for pizza pre-sale only and operated more as a pop-up in the early months of the pandemic. The restaurant served carry-out on a reservation basis from April to July 2020 and moved to full service after that, Federighi said.
“For those first two months, it was still very experimental,” she said.
Federighi recalled the long, slow opening being “really nice” in the project’s first days.
“It was a good way for us to get acclimated and help us learn how to run a restaurant,” she said.
Later that year, Pizza Fried Chicken Ice Cream was named one of Esquire magazine’s top new restaurants in 2020. The group viewed the restaurant as more of a starter project to further develop and refine recipes, “get our bearings” and learn how to better navigate the restaurant business, Federighi said.
“I think the goal was always to move on and branch out,” she said.
Federighi said there’s nothing specific set in stone right now when it comes to the collective’s next steps.
“But we’re kind of looking around for our next endeavor,” Federighi said.
Federighi said the group is looking possibly at opening a more traditional sit-down restaurant, perhaps with a full bar and menu.
“I think that’s what’s next for us,” she said.
Federighi said the group “had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people” through it all.
“It’s just time to move on, I think,” she said.
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