Whitewater’s Main Street business district made room for a slice of Little Italy when New Yorker Benny Spahiu brought his talents to Wisconsin.
His success in New York pushed him to try to find more markets where pizza by the slice would be profitable, which led him to open La Piazza Pizzeria in Whitewater this March. The restaurant is open Wednesday through Saturday until 3 a.m. to give students a quick and cheap food option in the downtown area.
Spahiu uses his pizza platform to display his creativity in the kitchen by creating signature pizzas such as his buffalo chicken pizza, which has drawn a huge craze from reviewers thus far.
Spahiu focuses on creating a special relationship with his clientele. He wants to create a give-and-take relationship with his pizza and hopes his future pizza creations continue to create excitement about the restaurant’s future.
Spahiu wasn’t going to budge on his secret recipe, but he did mention the sauce is what he believes is the bread and butter of his pizza.
“The sauce and the dough are handmade every morning,” said Spahiu, who also owns the Italian restaurant Fanatico on Main Street in Whitewater.
“The same sauce that I use at Fanatico’s I use here, and that’s how we know our pizza is quality, and it starts with fresh product daily.”
The employees are also excited about the product they are selling. Since most of them are college-aged, they can see the value in pizza by the slice, especially with the location.
“The biggest thing I see different about the pizza here is the freshness. You see the pizza coming together fresh every morning,” said Hannah Elrod, a student at UW-Whitewater and employee at La Piazza Pizzeria.
Beau Martin, a graduate student at UW-Whitewater, mentioned that he was excited for the new option downtown.
“The location is the biggest thing. Being right downtown makes it easy for students to get there, and who doesn’t love pizza after a night out,” said Martin.
La Piazza Pizzeria is located at 162 W Main Street next door to Fanatico’s. The doors are open from 11 a.m-10 p.m. on Tuesday and Sunday but stay open until 3 a.m.