The owners of Santa Maria Pizzeria — Pasquale Chionchio and Angelo Ambrosio — have revealed to Eater the details of their third London location. The 40-cover site, formerly Indian restaurant Chillies Tandoori, will open at 160 New Cavendish Street in Fitzrovia “before Christmas” this year.
Santa Maria Pizzeria first opened in Ealing in west London in February 2010 — becoming a pilgrimage site for pizza lovers largely because of an avid commitment to authentic Neapolitan-style pizza. They opened their second, bigger site in Chelsea in May 2016 before taking over the food offering at the Red Lion pub next-door to their Ealing branch in September last year. The duo also have a 50% ownership in Sacro Cuore pizzeria, which has locations in Kensal Rise and Crouch End.
The owners are known to eschew the idea, popularised by the likes of Franco Manca, of “sourdough” pizza. It’s nothing more than a marketing gimmick, they’ve said in the past. Similarly, Chionchio told Eater London that “we wanted a location in central London and Fitzrovia is good for our product. There is no pizzeria other than Homeslice and Franco Manca but they are different concepts. Not like us — they are pizza by the slice and sourdough pizza [respectively].”
Chionchio said to Eater London this morning that their new opening would be “more like an introduction to the area, not small, but not big. We hope to find another location in central London that is bigger,” before reiterating that they see a gap in the market: “There is no other independent pizzeria in central London,” he said. “We’ll wait to see people’s reaction...”