Middle age is a good look for Pagliacci Pizza. The iconic Seattle-based pizza chain — which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year — announced that it will open a new store on Pike Street in Capitol Hill between Crawford and Summit this fall. The spot will feature beer and wine, a slice bar, a training facility, and a pizza testing kitchen in the building that currently houses Pagliacci’s headquarters and phone center.
Since opening its first store in the U District in 1979, Pagliacci has expanded to become one of the most recognizable local pizza chains in the city, with 25 locations around town, including one on East Broadway in Capitol Hill. The chain introduced freshly made dough and ingredients long before waves of high-quality pizzerias took over over Seattle, even if it’s since been eclipsed by buzzier successors, from SoDo’s New York-style slices at Nine Pies to deep-dish darling Windy City Pie. In Capitol Hill alone, Pagliacci competes with the likes of the extremely popular Dino’s Tomato Pie, Hot Mama’s Pizza, and Sizzle Pie.
But the inclusion of a test kitchen in Pagliacci’s plans seems to indicate a desire to grow and evolve to keep up in the competitive doughy landscape. Last year, the original U District location closed in a move meant to refocus the business on locations that offer dine-in and delivery. Now, it seems that the next chapter is in motion.