PizzaHacker, the Mission Street pizza spot known for its cult-fave pies and its “Franken-Weber” grill, is crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. After seven years on a Bernal Heights stretch of Mission Street, founder Jeff Krupman is opening a second location inside a gigantic new beer hall in Mill Valley, called The Junction a vast space next to the Dipsea Trail called the Junction.
According to the Junction’s co-owner, Liz Fiedler (who, with her husband, Dez, founded Bay Area fro-yo mini-chain Loving Cup, which they sold off in 2018), the plan for a beer garden and taproom started coming together a year-and-a-half ago, and when it came time to choose a food partner (“we didn’t want to do the food ourselves,” Fiedler tells Eater SF), Krupman was first on their list. “PizzaHacker is the best pizza in San Francisco,” she says, “and it all came together.”
An expansive space with a so-called “food partner” and a multitude of outdoor seating seems ready-made for the COVID era, but Fiedler and Krupman swear that they just got lucky — if you can call it that. The enormous space features a landscaped yard, beer garden-style tables, and firepits, with both bench seating and Adirondack-style chairs.
On the taproom side, expect an eclectic menu of local brews (names like Henhouse, Cooperage, and Ghost Town), with 20 taps available at open, and a full roster of 26 set to be flowing by the end of the week. There’s also two rotating taps of hard kombucha (this week, Booch Craft and JustShine), two taps of wine, and slews more by the bottle, glass, or to go.
PizzaHacker’s opening menu boasts all the pies its SF patrons know and love, like its “top shelf” margherita with grana padano and its “short bridge” (sopressata, sausage, and mushrooms). But everything’s bigger in Marin, so this time around, Krupman says they’ll be serving up 14-inch pizzas — which “are about 30 percent bigger” than the ones San Franciscans are used to. There are a couple salads, too, a radicchio and chicories number and their excellent, sourdough crouton-laden kale caesar.
Though the Junction is offering bottles to go at launch, PizzaHacker is starting its life in Marin as a sit-down only affair. Krupman seems aware that immediately launching takeout in a family-heavy burg like Mill Valley might prove unmanageable, so “we’re keeping it pretty simple to get going,” with a Square-based ordering system that’s all done at the table. “It’s like magic,” Krupman says, seemingly unaware that it’s far harder to build a perfect pizza than an app that will take people’s money.
Eventually, he says, there will be PizzaHacker to-go from the Mill Valley kitchen, which, like the dining area, is “big and airy, like we designed it for these times,” Krupman says. The kitchen also sports a new, “steam-proof” oven, Krupman says — perfect for making bagels (an ambition he’s had for years). And, yes, there’s a plan to eventually offer their popular squares, as well as gluten-free pizzas (the latter, especially, a high-demand item in Marin). But that’s all in the future — first, they just need to get the place up and running, which they will as of 3 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29.
You can see the Junction’s drinks menu here, PizzaHacker’s opening menu is below.
PizzaHacker and the Junction are open from 3-9 p.m. on weekdays, 1-9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.