It all started just one week into quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nick Vella made a few pizzas out of his home, thinking friends and family could stop by, grab a pie, and say a socially distanced ‘hello’. Living right next to Observation Park, he realized it would make for a fun ‘dining room’, and the park benches overlooking the city would make great tables. Word spread quickly, and after many, many tags on Instagram, he had created what can only be described as a pizza ‘speakeasy’. What once needed to be scheduled for pickup at least a week in advance though had expanded into a small but burgeoning pizza business (no more secret passwords).
Observation Pizza moved into the kitchen of The Bauer in Crossroads and brought on Melissa Dodd, a Culinary Arts US Olympian who previously worked at The Savoy at 21C, and Austin Suedmeyer, a former cook at Plate, Affäre, and The Savoy at 21C. David Rivera, formerly of Rye, also came on board to offer help in the kitchen, manage ordering, and delivery services.
On August 23, 2020, Nick Vella was killed in a fatal motorcycle accident. He was our visionary, our fearless leader, and an inspiration to many. His warmth, talent, and generosity will never be forgotten. He knew how to have fun doing what he loved, and he brought that energy to the kitchen and everything he did. That's how we got something as fun and creative as Observation Pizza, in the middle of a pandemic no less. It is a tragic loss for his family, friends, as well as the food industry.
Our team made the decision to keep going, because we feel it is important to keep Nick's dream of bringing pizza to the people alive.
The team was very important to Nick, which is why he hand-picked his staff and imparted his wisdom onto each of them. Each team member was trained by the man himself to execute every component of his pizza perfectly. So it is now our dream to bring Nick's pizza to the people. It's a dream we need your help to achieve! Please spread the word about Observation Pizza, and tag us on Instagram.
We love you Nick, and hope we're making you proud.
We don’t necessarily have a ‘pizza style’; we do our own thang. Our pizza was created by perfecting crust in the home oven through the lens of Nick’s professional experience cooking traditional wood-fired Neapolitan pizza. The result is a style all its own: our dough is slow-fermented with a natural sourdough starter and then hand-tossed. Our sauce is made from real nice California tomatoes, half-cooked to create bold tomato flavors and half-raw to maintain their natural brightness. We also have fun with our toppings; we focus on quality, seasonal ingredients and funky combos, but also hit the classics we all know and love. In the end, you should be eating pizza the way you want, no judgement. This is a safe space for pineapple on pizza (POP), american cheese, and ranch dressing. #GETNASTY
We are primarily a scheduled, curbside pick-up shop, but we also offer delivery. We max out at 8 pizzas an hour, so quantities are limited. Depending on availability and how quickly you’d like pizza in your pie hole, you can book up to a week in advance or 30 minutes.
When you use our booking system, please keep in mind you are reserving your very own time slot, which is when your pie is getting baked, and that your very fresh pizza is available for pick-up at the end of that window. If you’re not seeing an ideal time slot for you, please don’t hesitate to text/call and we’ll do our best to accommodate you!