We've got some good news for fans of Classic Italian Pizza, the restaurant owned by chef Azhar Began that closed its doors last year. The pizzeria was a staple in south Tempe, famous for its wood-fired pizzas made with housemade mozzarella. It closed in January 2013 when Began realized his location just wasn't going to work.
But now he's nearly ready to reopen in a spot that might pretty familiar. Classic Italian Pizza has relocated to 6428 South McClintock Drive in the same Tempe strip mall as Changing Hands Bookstore.
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The space, which used to be a record store, will offer a bar -- with a nice view of the pizza oven -- and a dining room. Design features (from what we could see when we poked our head inside) will include reclaimed wood and iron chandeliers. It looks like it's going to be a really cozy spot.
As far as the menu, Began says it will be "90 percent the same" as at the old location, except that he'll be adding a selection of panini to the mix. Beer and wine will also be available.
He hasn't set an opening date yet but is hoping to be ready to go by the end of the month. Stay tuned for more information and keep an eye on the Classic Italian Pizza Facebook page.