It’s a pizza shuffle at 2240 Polk Street, where Gioia Pizzeria is packing up and Fiorella is moving in. Gioia, which opened its Russian Hill location in in 2012, will close in mid-October and move to a smaller Hayes Valley restaurant space to run a slice shop similar to its original Berkeley location. Outer Richmond Italian restaurant Fiorella, meanwhile, will seize the 2240 Polk Street space to open a second location, bringing some sense of pizza continuity to the block.
The new Gioia location in Hayes Valley will occupy 579 Hayes Street, a petite, 900-square-foot spot that was formerly Two Sisters Bar and Books. In Hayes Valley, owners Will and Karen Gioia will pare down their Russian Hill menu to focus on East Coast style slices, chicken and meatball parm sandwiches, etc., with options for take-out and delivery.
To say goodbye to their Polk Street neighbors and gesture to their coming slice shop, Gioia will offer specials in their current location. From October 5th until they close, think garlic knots, zeppoli, and the like. The Gioias hope to open in Hayes Valley in early 2019.
At about that time, Fiorella should be heating up its wood-fire oven in the former Gioia space at 2240 Polk Street. Partners Boris Nemchenok (Uva Enoteca) and Brandon Gillis (Franny’s, the now-closed Brooklyn pizza temple) opened the first Fiorella on Clement Street in 2016. It’s a neighborhood favorite and an Eater 38 Essential for its pizza, pasta, and excellent wine selection.
Nemchenok and Gillis are on a bit of a tear, having recently expanded down Clement with a new bar/restaurant, Violet’s. At Fiorella on Polk, they promise more of what works on Clement, with daily dinner and weekend brunch, plus new menu items tailored to the Russian Hill neighborhood.
“We are very proud of what we’ve built at Fiorella in the Richmond, and it’s been a dream of ours to explore a new neighborhood as we continue to grow,” says Nemchenok.