There may be a new pizza place coming to Downtown Champaign very soon. Pizzeria Antica will offer authentic Neapolitan pizza cooked in wood fire ovens that are handmade in Italy. As first reported by the News-Gazette, owner Ramin Karimpour will be opening his new venture at 40 E. University Avenue. The building is located just east of Seven Saints bar.
(A little history: Around 1920, 40 E. University Avenue, C, was home to Overland-Rickard Co., at the time they sold Willys Overland vehicles.)
Pizza Anitca will be firing up 12-15 different types of pizza. This will include some vegan and gluten-free options. The pizza will be cooked in two different wood burning ovens that burn at a seething 900 degrees. The owner says that this method of cooking takes only 90 seconds, a process called the 90 second bake. Cooking pizzas like this is very common in the province of Naples and is something that will be totally unique to Champaign. The tomatoes, flour and cheese they use will come from Italy, other ingredients will be sourced locally. They’ll also offer wine, beer, and limoncello drinks to accompany the Italian fare.
Right now the owner has a contractor looking over the space and a liquor license that is in the works. No opening date has been set, but I’ll keep you up to date on this new and exciting restaurant prospect. I for one can’t wait for opening night!
Featured image is an example of an authentic neapolitan style wood burning oven.