Jan. 19, 2018 By Tara Law
A new pizzeria is coming to Astoria that will serve up Neapolitan pizza and offer pizza-making lessons.
Macoletta NY is slated to open across the street from the Bohemian Beer Garden at 28-15 24th Ave in the spring. The restaurant will serve brick oven pizza, beer and wine, and salads.
Walid Idriss, the co-owner, likes to say likes to say that his pizzeria could only have come together in America.
Idriss was born in Algeria and grew up in Egypt, before moving to New York in 2001. He has lived in Astoria since 2004, and considers the neighborhood his true home.
While Idriss was in college, he worked a number of restaurant jobs in Manhattan. At one of those jobs, at the French restaurant Madison Bistro, he met Italian transplant Fabio Rebeschini.
Rebeschini invited Idriss to visit his family’s bakery in Italy’s Padua province, and their friendship was sealed.
Over time, the friends dreamed up a plan to open a pizzeria in Astoria, and eventually partnered with two investors to fund a restaurant.
Rebeschini and Idriss studied pizza making in Verona, Italy for two months last summer, and signed a lease on an Astoria storefront in August 2017.
The partners found that they needed additional funding to complete renovations and pay for a pizza oven.
“It was an empty box,” Idriss said of the pizzeria’s location. “To make it into a restaurant, we needed to pay for the plumbing, electricity, the floors.”
They launched a Kickstarter campaign on Nov. 7, and by Dec. 21 had raised more than $20,000 in donations from friends and family.
The restaurant’s Marana Forni brick oven, which can cook a pizza in 90 seconds at 1,200 degrees, was delivered yesterday.
“It’s always been a dream,” said Idriss. “I want to bring something to the neighborhood that everyone will enjoy.”
The pizzeria will offer adults and children pizza making classes on weekends.
Participants will be sent home with a package of ingredients to make their own pizza at home after classes.