Lombardi’s, located at 132 S. 18th St., is one of the more delicious pizza places we’ve visited in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, it’s been closed for seven years, the building has been torn down, and a middling restaurant and a bunch of really expensive condos have taken its place.
Oh, we’ve survived these past seven years, especially with the influx of new and exciting pizza shops that have appeared during that time, but we’ve always wished we could get just one more slice of that delicious coal-oven-baked Lombardi’s. And while it doesn’t seem that our wishes will come true exactly, it does seem like we’ll soon be able to get the next best thing.
According to Michael Klein, the operator of the Philadelphia Lombardi’s is making a triumphant return to the City of Brotherly Love. Mike Giammarino is not, however, returning to Center City, but is instead opting for 1429 Jackson St., a corner which has been home to several other pizza shops over the years. This incarnation will be called Gennaro’s Tomato Pie. As you might expect, the classiness level should be raised a notch or two.
Klein suggests that the inside of the space will be spruced up as well, with design touches from the 1940s. The pizza won’t be the same as Lombardi’s, as the over will be electric; Giammarino has suggested that he’ll be serving upside-down pies, with sauce on top of the cheese. Some appetizers and salads will also be on the menu.
There’s probably not a single person in South Philadelphia thinking, boy, we sure could use another pizza place around these parts. Especially with the surprising and delicious Pizza Shack just a few blocks to the south, you could easily make the argument that this business will simply be a redundancy in the neighborhood. But let’s face it- pizza is amazing and people will seek out the pie they like the best. Gennaro’s will offer something different and unique, and may just inspire a few Center City residents with fond memories to make the long trek down south of Snyder Avenue.
Gennaro’s should be opening right after the New Year.