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A Pizzetta 211 Alum Is Opening a Spot for Wood-Fired Pies ‘You Can Crush’ in the Mission

John McCloskey worked at Pizza Hacker and Pizzetta 211 before breaking out on his own to open Angie’s Pizza

A pepperoni pizza.
John McCloskey’s pizza skills come from his time at Pizza Hacker and Pizzetta 211.
John McCloskey
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

The Mission is getting a new pizzeria from a Pizza Hacker and Pizzetta 211 alum. Angie’s Pizza will open on December 2 at 16th and Guerrero streets; the upcoming restaurant takes its name from owner John McCloskey’s mom. McCloskey hopes to offer six pies with rotating sides like roasted vegetables, seasonal salads, and meatballs. He’ll do riffs on classics — think pepperoni but with a garlic chili honey — and more eclectic pizzas including one with bacon, goat cheese, and radicchio and another with kale, maitake mushrooms, and mixed herbs. McCloskey’s pies will use Capay Mills’ Northern California flour and for dessert, he’ll dish up ice cream made in-house. Bringing high-quality food to this somewhat sleepy block of the Mission District is exciting to the new business owner. “In New York, there’s pizza on every street corner,” McCloskey says. “But you get into pizza and see there’s a whole other world.”

When it comes to crust, McCloskey didn’t skimp; at Pizza Hacker, he got real into leavened, sourdough crusts, and throughout the pandemic, he bought wheat berries and milled his own flour at home. That’s why he’s using Capay Mills from Esparto, California, which grows, harvests, and stone mills its wheat. “I think that’s super important,” McCloskey says. “But milling flour in the shop would be a total pain in the butt.” If that wasn’t enough, McCloskey is making ice cream, too. He worked at Pizzetta 211 with the owners of pop-up Good Children, who are helping him dial in his ice cream program at Angie’s. So far, he’s working on desserts like poached apple sundaes with pecan streusel; he’s always been romantic about dessert, he says, because his grandfather in Ireland ran an ice cream shop. For drinks, McCloskey says he’ll serve funky natural wines, but also classic Italian selections for the traditionalist. Craft beer will be on the menu, too.

McCloskey moved to San Francisco in 2002, when he barbacked (his brother and cousin own the Crafty Fox) through the Mission District, then moved to the East Coast in 2008. In 2017 he says he missed the West Coast, though, and came back, but didn’t want to go back to that late-night life. He thought pizza would be simple enough, but after making pies at home he took a job at Pizza Hacker and started to adopt the seasonal, California approach to pizza-making. McCloskey worked at teeny Richmond District shop Pizzetta 211 before the pandemic, and, remarkably, was able to keep at it throughout the entire pandemic.

Now that things look somewhat normal again, he found the former Mozzeria location. That business, which was open for about 10 years, closed around the beginning of the pandemic before the Firepie truck took it over for a little under the year. McCloskey says his pizzas will be thin-crust, wood-fired, and not Neapolitan. These are pizzas “you can crush without passing out afterward.” It’ll be a sit-down restaurant, with an old-school vibe thanks to wood panels that remind him of pizzerias in New York in the 1970s (“Mod vibes, maybe,” McCloskey says). He’s still staffing up at the moment, but is eager to open the doors. “Pizza’s democratic, one of the reasons I love it,” McCloskey says.

A sundae.
Ice cream will be inspired by the pop-up Good Children.
John McCloskey
Meatballs in a dish.
Wood-roasted meatballs are one of a number of sides available.
John McCloskey

Angie's Pizza

3228 16th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 Visit Website