Since buying the shop in 2008, Diamantopoulos and his brother, Johnny, have run the popular All Star Sandwich Bar in Inman Square. Tomorrow, after 10 months of construction, the two will serve their first slices at All Star Pizza Bar, a sister restaurant directly across Cambridge Street.
All Star Pizza Bar is located
at 1238 Cambridge St.,
Inman Square, Cambridge,
Q. Your motto at the sandwich bar is "a good sandwich is like an old friend." Do you have a pizza bar motto?
A. "I love pizza." We grew up in the pizza business, my brother and I; our parents owned a pizzeria for 35 years. So we grew up around pizza. So when the opportunity presented itself to transform this space into the All Star Pizza Bar, the number one reason behind it was because we really do love pizza. It's our motto but it's also the reason for why we do what we do.
Q. You're moving into the space once occupied by No. 1 Arams House of Pizza. Since you're serving the same product, did you keep the kitchen intact?
A. No, everything got trashed. We even had to hire an engineer to design a support system for the floors to support the big oven that we bought, a Marsal brick oven.
Q. After the construction delay, how does it feel to be on the verge of opening?
A. Excitement is an understatement. We're very fortunate to be in the area we're in and to serve the customers we serve. They're very knowledgeable about food. They're a very cool customer base and they've helped us along the way during construction and during menu planning. We generally ask for a lot of feedback and we like to incorporate a lot of people's ideas into what we actually do. So the 10-month delay, if you want to call it that, is a blessing in disguise because it allowed us to get a ton of feedback as to what people really wanted to see out of the space. I think we've achieved it. We've made a pizza that is really good, and I'm not just saying that. We're both super excited about the pizza we're putting out.
Q. What kind of feedback did customers offer?
A. First and foremost, "keep it as creative as you are at the sandwich bar." So our funky and extra funky is going to be just off the charts. You can imagine fried alligator to octopus to rabbit to filet mignon, you name it, the possibilities are endless. The second biggest comment was that people did not want a pan pizza. They wanted a hand-tossed, brick-oven pizza.
Q. Which pizza are you most excited about?
A. The Atomic Meatloaf Pizza, I think, is one of those items that's really going to take off. The few people that have tried it really, really enjoy it and it's our most popular item across the street. But of the new items, there are two. Ms. Piggy's Fig, we're calling it, is marinara sauce, house-blend cheese, goat cheese, Black Mission figs, prosciutto di Parma, and toasted pistachio gremolata with a vincotto sauce drizzled on top of it. It's sweet, it's savory, tangy — it's really good. And then we have another one we're calling the Red Head, which is herb-roasted potatoes with shaved steak, bacon, caramelized onions with horseradish cream, and cheese. So it's like a steak and potatoes pizza.
Q. What do you expect will happen when you open?
A. I expect us to have as much fun at the pizza bar as we do at the sandwich bar. We don't get bored. We don't want people to get bored with food. And as a result we're changing our menu as often as we can, we're creating combinations that I don't know whether anyone else has done or not, but they're combinations that we think are fun and will work together. So it's a restaurant that works with people to give them things they want. People tell us what they want and we try our best to do it.
Interview was condensed and edited. Glenn Yoder can be reached at email@example.com.