June 26, 2023 By Michael Dorgan
The owners of a successful Italian restaurant and a fine spirits store in Long Island City have opened a pizzeria in the neighborhood after much delay.
Stella Hospitality Group, which owns Levante and Enoteca LIC, opened Juliet’s Pizza for a soft opening earlier this month on the corner of Jackson Avenue and Dutch Kills Street. The group has taken over a former printing and stationery store called Jules which had been in the neighborhood for decades.
Juliet’s Pizza offers American-style pizza with a heavy emphasis on serving pizza by the slice.
Tony D’Aiuto, who is a partner in Stella Hospitality, said that Juliet’s Pizza will have its grand opening early next month. In the meantime, it is serving a limited menu.
The pizzeria is currently offering four different pizzas: cheese, pepperoni, white and Sicilian by the square. Customers can order the pizza by the slice or as an 18-inch pie.
Juliet’s Pizza also has garlic knots on its menu as well as desserts such as New York cheesecake, strawberry and cream cake, and chocolate and cream cake.
“We are under a preview now with limited hours and a limited menu,” D’Aiuto said. “We’ll have a grand opening next month, after which we will have a full menu and full hours. Follow us on Instagram for the grand opening date announcement.”
D’Aiuto said the establishment is focusing on American-style pizza, as opposed to the Neopolitan style which Levante offers. He said there aren’t many pizzerias offering American-style pizza in the neighborhood and they are looking to tap into that market.
D’Aiuto said the group was drawn to the premises since it is situated on a corner that faces the heavy foot-trafficked Jackson Avenue. Additionally, he said the population of the neighborhood has boomed in recent years with several more high rises apartment buildings currently undergoing construction along Jackson Avenue.
The group has completely refurbished the interior of the premises with new wooden floors, wooden walls and a wooden counter that has a marble top. There are no seats inside in order to allow customers to grab their food on the go, while the Jackson Avenue-facing side has a large sliding window.
There are about 16 seats outside the pizzeria on the Jackson Avenue sidewalk, all of which are beneath a large black and white colored awning.
The exterior has maintained its red brick facade as well as most of its original sign. The owners have placed a neon sign reading “Juliet’s” over “Jules,” with the name of the pizzeria being a spin on the previous business that was housed there, D’Aiuto said.
A neon sign that reads “pizza by the slice” has also been placed above the front door.
D’Aiuto said the owners have been working on opening since at least 2021 and they have been besieged by setbacks.
The establishment’s cellar was flooded during Hurricane Ida in 2021 which forced them to completely remodel the pizzeria’s designs. Underground piping also had to be rerouted also, he said.
Nonetheless, D’Aiuto said they were excited to finally open the doors of the establishment.
He emphasized that they are still fine-tuning the operation and it will be fully operational from early next month when the grand opening takes place.
Juliet’s Pizza is located at 27-20 Jackson Ave. in Long Island City. The pizzeria is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.