East End Pizza Co.

Goodbye, Ching Hua; hello, improved pizzeria


Lori Eanes

Good news for pizza fans: East End Pizza Co. is expanding.

Paul and Michele Manousos, co-owners of East End Pizza in the Alameda Marketplace, have partnered with Jake Alioto, longtime (and now former) chef at Luka’s Taproom in Oakland, to take East End to the next level. They are moving the popular pizzeria from its small corner space in the Marketplace to new and bigger digs previously occupied by Ching Hua.

This spring, Paul Manousos had a crew, under wife Michele Manousos’ design instructions, transforming the space to accommodate a re-invented pizza-centric restaurant with “bigger plates, appetizers, soups, salads—a regular menu. Pizza will be the backbone.”

The friendly restaurateur with graying and sometimes stand-uppy hair who is also a talented singer-songwriter, is aiming for a May opening, but—while simultaneously asking a reporter to wait “just a sec” while juggling an order for a couple of half-baked pies and manning the cash register—realistically adds, “It’s hard to say. That’s the way of the world.”

The pizza oven in the corner of the original East End space is going to the Manousos household, but the pizza wizard promises an even bigger one will grace the new digs, where Manousos says, “We’re bringing on a party.”

Manousos, who was chummy with Ching Hua owner Edward Chu, says he was thrilled to acquire the space and was intrigued by the notion of an accompanying liquor license.

For those unfamiliar with this paper-thin, bubbled-up version of pizza pie, get to know it: fresh, organic, sustainable ingredients creatively put together. Like the menu boasts, “Whenever something can be, it’s house-made. If it’s not, we know who made it, how, and exactly what with. You’re gonna want a piece of this!”

And besides, who can argue with a pizza place whose tagline proclaims, “We do one thing: We make really good pizza from the best stuff we can find.”

Amen to that.

East End Pizza, 1650 Park St., Alameda, 510-263-9630, www.eastendpizzaco.com.


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