Chow Bella

Classic Italian Pizza in Tempe Is Closed -- Temporarily, We Hope

Chef-owner Azhar Began of Classic Italian Pizza in Tempe likes to say, "Life is too short to eat bad pizza." So true. And apparently, life is too short to make good pizza in a bad location.

See also: Best of Phoenix 2012: Best Neighborhood Pizza, Tempe -- Classic Italian Pizza

Would that he'd figured that out a long time ago, before struggling in a nearly moribund strip mall for years. But Began, whose wood-fired pizzas, made with housemade mozzarella, have earned him a slew of awards and a loyal following, has finally thrown in the towel -- at least for now.

The restaurant's number is out of service, and a post on Urbanspoon says:

"Sign on the door says this location will shut down on 1/31/2013 and is moving. I asked the waitress and she said they do not have a new place as of yet. She was unsure of when or where they would re-open, but stated it would be posted on their website."

But, alas, going to CIP's website yields this: "We're still open! Despite the ongoing construction, we're still open during our regular business hours."

But they are not open, and a handful of comments from disappointed disciples on CIP's Facebook page is the proof.

In any case, we're hoping the info on Urbanspoon is correct and that Began is looking for a better location. We're working to track him down and we'll keep you posted.

And if you've never been to Classic Italian, here's what you've been missing:

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Nikki Buchanan