Connecticut-style pizza is coming to Tampa Bay this fall with the opening of Colony Grill in St. Petersburg. Featuring thin-crust pies with a variety of toppings, the small New England chain will open its first Florida location (its seventh overall) at 670 Central Avenue, in the space formerly housing Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop.
Like so many Floridians over the years, a northeast transplant is moving south as Stamford, Connecticut-based pizzeria Colony Grill is eyeing an opening date in St. Petersburg this October. Housed next to Maple Street Biscuit Company on the corner of Central Avenue and 7th Street, the pub and grill specializes exclusively in thin crust, Connecticut-style pizzas.
What truly makes the pizzas here “Connecticut-style” is the option to get the “hot oil” topping, a spicy and warming pepper-infused oil spread across the entire pie. The other catch with Colony Grill: despite the name (a nod to its history in Stamford, Conn.) the popular restaurant and bar only serves pizza, and nothing else.
That is, they don’t serve any other food.
CT-style thin crust pizza at Colony Grill
There’s plenty to drink, of course, and part of what has made the restaurant so beloved is its combination of a family-friendly approach combined with its sports bar/pub atmosphere. Along with a full selection of wine and spirits, the restaurant makes great beer a focal point at all of its locations, featuring not just popular national brands, but highlighting local craft breweries unique to each location.
The seven locations are collectively owned by a group of four childhood friends, one of whom is a current Tampa resident. Ownership says they are excited to open in “a city that at once has a small town charm and a cosmopolitan sophistication.”
“We look forward to making a positive impact in the greater St. Pete community for years to come,” co-owner Ken Martin said. “St. Pete has it all. Great sports, a vibrant art scene, eclectic retail and dining, a beautiful waterfront. The list goes on and on. Colony Grill is very fortunate to have found a home here and we will work hard every day to deliver hospitality — and delicious pizza — to our guests.”
The original Colony Grill opened as a post-prohibition tavern in an Irish neighborhood in Stamford back in 1935, and shortly after business began, the now-beloved thin crust pizzas with hot oil became a crowd favorite. Eventually, the pizzas became the crowd favorite, the only one anyone wanted, and ownership decided to forget everything else – they were just going to make pizza from then on.
Four childhood friends own all locations
As the business grew over the years, and as more locations were added, the name Colony Grill has remained as a nod to its roots, even though an actual grill is noticeably absent in every kitchen.
The St. Pete location at 670 Central Avenue is anticipating an opening date around the end of October, and Colony Grill also has plans for a Tampa location to open in 2022.
Learn more about Colony Grill’s offerings and history on their website, and stay tuned to I Love The Burg for opening dates and events.
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