Pizza People to open storefront in October

(Marianna Hauglie/DD)
Pizza People owners Marybeth and Tim Scanlon will serve traditional pub food and create a “Cheers” vibe at the new permanent location inspired by their popular food truck. (Marianna Hauglie/DD)

Pizza People food truck owners MaryBeth and Tim Scanlon will open a brick-and-mortar pub and restaurant on Monday, Sept. 23, inspired by their popular truck.

“We wanted to create a restaurant that we couldn’t find,” MaryBeth said. “Some place where you can grab a beer, watch the game, come for a date, girls’ day, birthday parties and just relax.”

MaryBeth said Pizza People Pub will have a “Cheers” mentality, creating a homey vibe that strays away from the “swank” or “artsy” feel that other restaurants in downtown Phoenix hold. The food truck will still operate while the restaurant is open.

The pub atmosphere will go hand-in-hand with the food. The Scanlon’s plan on serving burgers, salads, appetizers, rotating desserts and pizza. For diners with dietary restrictions, Pizza People will have vegan and gluten-free menu items. They will also have a fully-stocked bar with eight beers on tap and cocktails.

“We tried to make this an experience perfect for just about anyone, while still maintaining our identity,” MaryBeth said.

The Scanlons first opened their food truck in 2011, hoping it would transition into a permanent location. The couple decided to launch their truck after a friend passed away and they wanted to move forward.

“Jokingly, I suggested a food truck and Tim loved the idea,” MaryBeth said. “We decided that it could become a reality.”

MaryBeth said her and her husband’s pizza stands out because of the dough.

“My husband and I developed the recipe ourselves,” she said. “Nobody else has it. We didn’t copy it from anybody and we use all fresh ingredients.”

The Scanlons took three months developing their pizza recipe in a test kitchen, getting the ingredients, measurements and sauces correct to make sure everything was perfect for their customers.

Pizza People Pub also uses a stone-deck oven. The stone-deck oven pulls the moisture out of the dough, giving it a crispier crust according to MaryBeth.

Jamburritos owner Michael Brown said he thinks it’s great that food trucks are turning into restaurants.

“When you see a food truck that has successfully navigated the Phoenix scene then turned it into a viable business, it paves the way for others to think that this is the path,” Brown said.

Brown said that the food truck community gets newcomers to the scene who have so many questions and bring such amazing enthusiasm. He said he had decided since day one that Jamburritos was going to transform into a storefront restaurant.

“We are going to take the time to make sure we have the right support,” Brown said. “I realized that as much as I want to open it — I can practically taste it — I know I have to be patient for the right time.”

Journalism freshman Claire Caulfield said she’s excited to see food trucks developing into restaurants.

“Food trucks offer up so much diversity,” she said. “They allow entrepreneurs and these amazing chefs, that we would not have access to, to get their food and their brand out there. If they are successful enough to start a restaurant, I think that’s great!”

MaryBeth said she’s been in the culinary business for 20 years beginning as a waitress and moving up to a general manager. She used to worked for Tom Jetland, owner of Switch Restaurant and Wine Bar, during his first restaurant opening.

“I basically got mentored under him,” she said.

The Scanlons launched their food truck independently and Jetland took notice. MaryBeth said Jetland loved the idea and when the couple decided to open the restaurant, he jumped right in as a mentor for the new business. His restaurants — including Switch and Bliss/Rebar — will work together with Pizza People Pub as sister restaurants and support each other, MaryBeth said.

Pizza People Pub is located at 1326 N. Central Avenue.

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