Pizzeria Bianco, notorious for its long lines and nationally recognized pizza, will be opening for lunch starting April 12.
One of Phoenix’s most acclaimed restaurants has been located in historical Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix since 1994.
The 42-seat establishment had previously been open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner only, but the restaurant will now be open 11 a.m., and stay open throughout the day until 11 p.m. starting Tuesday.
Reservations or hosting private functions are still prohibited. Customers often line up an hour or more before Bianco’s opening at 5 p.m.
The owner, Chris Bianco, originally opened Pizzeria Bianco in 1987 in a grocery store which is now AJ’s Euro-Market & Deli located in central Phoenix.
Dave Garland has been loyally working at Pizzeria Bianco as a waiter for 15 years and says that the restaurant has the best environment in the service industry.
“What (Bianco) brings every night is amazing,” Garland said. “It’s great to be a part of and watch something so special grow.”
Garland believes the pizza is admired due to its fresh ingredients. The dough is pulled by hand and made with organic non-bleached flour. The restaurant crafts the mozzarella and tomato sauce the same afternoon.
“There is nothing that is a day old,” Garland said. “Everything is made to order with love.”
Bianco’s brother, Marco, will be taking on the lunch crowd by standing behind the wood fired oven delving out pizzas.
Seven years ago Pizzeria Bianco was open for lunch, but the staff was smaller and Bianco was cooking every pizza. He would be behind the oven from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and promised to give himself a break after being in business for 10 years. That’s when Bianco stopped doing lunch and focused on dinner only.
These days Bianco is no longer making every pizza due to his asthma.
Outside the restaurant there are regulars everywhere waiting to dine at the popular restaurant.
Dave Woodruff, a native to downtown Phoenix, has been coming to Pizzeria Bianco once a week for 13 years. The process of waiting and eating usually takes his group 4 hours, but Woodruff isn’t interested in getting in fast.
“They do very few things but the things that they do, they do right,” Woodruff said.
The restaurant didn’t have balsamic for a year because Bianco didn’t like the balsamic they were getting. So instead of serving something that wasn’t quite as good he just said there’s not going to be balsamic, Woodruff said.
When Woodruff first started coming to the restaurant he would sit in front of Pizzeria Biancos and do nothing while he waited for the restaurant to open. He would bring domino’s to pass the time.
Another regular, Tony Vickers, has been coming to Pizzeria Bianco for 10 years. He loves that the pizza is wood fired, thin crust and that the tomato sauce is homemade.
“Top notch ingredients,” Vickers said. “It’s beautiful.”
The regulars agree that Bianco treats every guest the same and lives by the motto: First come, first served.
Many customers agree that Bianco simply isn’t interested in making the restaurant bigger or making more money.
“If they were to make it bigger you wouldn’t be able to watch the quality,” Woodruff said. “As you get bigger you lose, in a sense, what made you who you are.”
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