After finding success with his two pizzerias — O4W Pizza and Nina & Rafi — Anthony Spina will open a new restaurant in part of the former Goin’ Coastal space in Virginia-Highland, according to a reader tip, and confirmed by real estate developer Gene Kansas. Goin’ Coastal closed last November in the VA-HI building at the corner of Virginia and North Highland avenues.
The developer says the name of the restaurant is Pizza By the Slice. However, Spina tells Eater Atlanta the restaurant could be a slice shop but that it’s “too early to say.” He does plan to focus “heavily” on Sicilian-style square pizza.
The pizzeria, located next door to Paolo’s Gelato, may finally fill the void left behind by the beloved Everybody’s Pizza, which closed in the neighborhood after 41 years in 2013.
Since closing down his wildly popular Old Fourth Ward (O4W) pizza shop inside Irwin Street Market and relocating it to Duluth in 2016, Spina came back to O4W last November to open Detroit-style pizzeria and Italian restaurant Nina & Rafi with Billy Streck (Hampton + Hudson, Cypress Street Pint & Plate). As with his Jersey-style “grandma pie”, Spina’s Detroit-style pizzas have become equally popular at the Eastside Beltline restaurant.
“Virginia-Highland as a neighborhood is known for walkability and great restaurants. With Pizza By The Slice, we are bringing the highest quality pizza in the city to a laid-back, everyday kind of environment,” associate developer Ted Bradford says in a press release provided to Eater Atlanta. “It’s perfect for a family dinner, the little league team party, or late night after the bar.”
Like Everybody’s, Bradford hopes this new Spina-fronted pizzeria will become a “neighborhood institution.”
Atlanta Magazine restaurant critic Christiane Lauterbach recently wrote of Virginia-Highland’s restaurant woes saying, “What used to be a vibrant restaurant destination has long been stuck in mediocrity.” Other than neighborhood institutions such as Atkins Park and neighboring Highland Tap and Murphy’s, Virginia-Highland has had trouble keeping pace since its heyday in the 1990s with nearby dining hot spots like Old Fourth Ward and the Eastside Beltline trail. The closest entrance to the Beltline from the heart of Virginia-Highland is approximately one mile away.
Spina’s pizzeria could be the start of a course correction in Virginia-Highland, as commercial rents increase in neighborhoods along the Beltline and restaurant owners seek out slightly more affordable, character-driven spaces rather than the sanitized mixed-use developments popping up around Atlanta.
1023 Virginia Avenue NE, Atlanta.