Just three years after launching as a pop-up down on Divisadero and one year after hitting the streets of Oakland, the Square Pie Guys are once again on the move, this time taking their smash-hit Detroit-style pies to San Francisco’s iconic Ghirardelli Square. Co-founders Danny Stoller and Marc Schechter say they’re hoping to debut what will become the restaurant’s flagship location by this summer; it’ll take over a waterfront space off Beach Street underneath McCormick & Schmick’s.
The space previously housed a pub-type restaurant and gives the Square Pie Guys space for a parklet sitting right off the Bay. “We walked into the space and we were like, ‘Holy crap, this is gorgeous,” Stoller tells Eater SF. The duo was drawn to the square in large part because it’s “one of many but not that many open outdoor gathering places in the city,” he adds. The restaurant will join a growing number of local restaurants to debut at the well-known tourist destination in recent years including Palette Tea House, part of Koi Palace dim sum dynasty, and the second location of North Beach’s Latin restaurant Barrio.
As far as the menu, there will be some new and yet-to-be-determined additions — and naturally, they’re playing around with ways to infuse a bit of Ghirardelli goodness into the menu. There’s the possibility of bringing back a decadent, fudge-y pizza cookie dessert that’s made with the historic San Francisco company’s chocolate, though Schechter says he’s hesitant: “Part of me doesn't want to because I would eat it by the spoonful at the end of every night,” he confesses.
But primarily, people will likely be drawn by the Square Pie Guy’s signature pies, which are baked in “magical” pans, Schechter jokes, to achieve the perfect crispy bottoms and sides. They also make a point to spread the cheese all the way to the edges to facilitate that lacy, cheesy edge. Of course, they’ll be bringing their popular chicken wings to the square, and fans can be assured the Square Pie Guys will continue the quarterly menu changes and celebrity collabs that have helped make the duo some of the biggest stars in the Bay Area’s crowded pizza scene. Expect beer, cocktails, and wine on tap, too.
As they continue to expand, the pair say they’re always keeping one eye on the quality of the pizza and continue to tinker with the dough to ensure it’s just right. And while they say they're squarely focused on getting this third restaurant open, they’re not ready to rule out the possibility of future locations down the line. “We’re definitely excited to see how this one does and go from there,” Stoller says.