Like vinyl, RPM Pizza and Records is back and better than ever. Also known as Revolution Pizza Music (240 2nd Ave. S #120), the Pioneer Square pizzeria and record store closed December 2017 with no hint of a revival, but thanks to a tipster who spotted a sandwich board, Eater confirmed that Richard Cano purchased the company from previous owner Harvey Ward Van Allen (Casco Antiguo) and reopened the business this month with plenty of similarities and also some fresh ideas.
Cano goes way back with Van Allen — they first met at Queen City Grill more than a decade ago, they worked together at Van Allen’s Ballard spot The Station before it closed, they’ve played in bands together, and they’ve both co-owned businesses with Lex Petras (now-defunct Atlantic for Cano, Altstadt for Van Allen) — which is how Cano found out about the opportunity to purchase RPM. Van Allen turned the former home of Pizzeria Gabbiano into a pizza place again last summer, with RPM pairing local vinyl and hot pies, mostly straightforward combinations like margherita, Hawaiian, and sausage and pepper complemented by a couple salads, beers, and wines.
“I remember thinking, Man, this place is sweet, I think it’s beautiful,” Cano said of his decision to buy the shop from Van Allen and keep the vibe and decor the same. As a chef of nearly three decades, though, Cano had his own plans for the menu (not yet updated online), keeping the classics like pepperoni and Hawaiian and a couple of salads while incorporating his own recipe for dough. His version ages at least 24 hours and bakes out thin, flaky, bubbly, and foldable — but not quite New York- or Neapolitan-style.
“It’s basically a hybrid. It’s kind of a wood-fired-style dough that I’m doing in a double-stack Bakers Pride oven, not wood-fired,” Cano told Eater. “I’m really particular about the dough. You know, some wood-fired pizzas you pick up and the center just drops, and others are so thick it’s like eating a loaf of bread with pizza toppings. I don’t want it to be dense or too chewy or crackery, and I don’t want you to be ready for a nap after a good slice of pizza.”
As a self-professed audiophile analog junkie, Cano also plans to expand the vinyl component of the business, selling a lot of collector’s items and vintage turntables that he fixes alongside local record labels like Sub Pop and Light in the Attic. He also wants to host live acoustic shows. “I love playing acoustic shows, like, Hey, have your band come here when you’re releasing a record, we’ll play it on the stereo then you can play an acoustic set and sign autographs.” He’ll also stick with a relatively simple menu of Northwest beer and wine, like Sleight of Hand Cellars’ Renegade Red.
For anyone eager to check out RPM’s encore, it’s currently only open for lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Postmates for delivery, but by next week should have extended hours. Cano expects to open Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., just serve dinner on Saturday, and remain closed on Sunday unless a big concert, game, or other event is happening nearby.