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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Pie Guy Pizza Offers Late-Night Slices in the Grove

Posted By on Thu, Oct 4, 2018 at 6:30 AM

click to enlarge Nestled in the Grove, Pie Guy Pizza offers whole pies and slices, with an order window open 'til 3 a.m. - DESI ISAACSON
  • Nestled in the Grove, Pie Guy Pizza offers whole pies and slices, with an order window open 'til 3 a.m.

The Grove finally has a late-night pizza spot. Pie Guy Pizza (4189 Manchester Avenue, 314-899-0444) offers New York style pizza by the slice until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

The small counter-service spot, which is attached to Gezellig Bottle Shop, is fronted with a garage door that stays open to the street during most hours of operation. After 1 a.m. on the weekends, however, the door closes and pizza is served out a late-night window for the final two hours.

The spot isn’t much bigger than a garage, with one metal communal table in the center and a counter separating the kitchen from the rest of the restaurant. The high-top table feels like one you might prepare a pizza on. And with no wall between the kitchen and the dining area, you always feel as if you might accidentally be in the kitchen, or they might want you there. The white walls and cement floor across the length of the restaurant make the whole thing feel like one big room (which, really, it is). Two additional small tables on the sidewalk outside are perfect for people-watching.

click to enlarge The small shop has a communal vibe, with one large table in the center. - DESI ISAACSON
  • The small shop has a communal vibe, with one large table in the center.

A passageway inside leads you into Gezellig Bottle Shop. At the two-year-old bottle shop, you can order from a large assortment of beers or even take a seat; Pie Guy will bring your pizza to your table on either side of the wall. The partnership is perfect because Pie Guy doesn’t serve alcohol of its own.

Co-owner Mitch Frost is something of a pizza savant. He started working in his teens at Dewey’s on Delmar and has even taught a course on pizza-tossing at the Kitchen Conservatory, according to Feast Magazine.

At the counter, you can order a full pie any way you like with an assortment of toppings including pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, spinach, roasted garlic and more. There are also slices of classic favorites like cheese, pepperoni and veggie, ready to be heated up on your command.

Frost uses sourdough bread that's been cold fermented for three days and gets many of the other ingredients from Italy. The menu has a few other options other than pizza, like pistachio nuts or garlic knots, but Frost says he is working on other items to add, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

click to enlarge The thin-crust pizza slices are perfect for your late-night craving. - DESI ISAACSON
  • The thin-crust pizza slices are perfect for your late-night craving.

As we sat at the communal table on a recent Friday, people kept asking if we had tried the pizza yet and if we liked it (over and over again). We didn’t even have time to snap a few photos of our slices before we were getting nagged about how we could let something sit there so long that looked so delicious. Maybe they were drunk; maybe they were just rooting hard for the spot to succeed.

The Pie Guy website describes its style as “hand-tossed New York style pizza.” The thin crust is crispy, full of flavor, and can be folded just like a New York slice. There is just the right amount of grease to make it simmer, but not feel heavy and gross. Crust bubbles pop up and add extra crunch. And each slice is pretty damn big. It might be the closest you can get to New York in this city without taking a flight.

So, the next time you’re bar-hopping around the Grove on the weekend and you realize the hunger is coming, but everything is closed, fear no longer. You might remember Pie Guy is still open, or you might stumble in on accident. As the website says, “No point in mentioning those flying slices of pizza. You’ll see them soon enough.”

Pie Guy Pizza is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to midnight, Friday from 4:30 p.m. to 3 a.m., and Saturday from noon to 3 a.m.

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