Pizza News

Why This College-Town Pizzeria Closed After Less Than a Year

2SPizza seemed to have a prime location to attract both college students and downtown shoppers, and its prices were reasonable.

2SPizza opened less than a year ago in downtown Newark, Delaware, and it’s now closing for the simplest—and saddest—of reasons: Even with a prime spot within walking distance of the University of Delaware, customers just weren’t showing up.

As the Delaware News Journal reports, 2SPizza, the brainchild of the owners of Two Stones Pub and 2SP Brewing Co., closed its doors for good on Sunday, January 21. Michael Stiglitz, Christopher Meyer and Ben Muse, self-described “huge pizza fans,” opened the restaurant in mid-February 2023, wanting 2SPizza to be “more of a restaurant that does pizza, not just a pizza place,” with a strong focus on dine-in, as Stiglitz told the Newark Post last February.

Today’s customers have higher expectations for their hometown pizzeria, Stiglitz said in that February interview. “It’s not just sliced pie in the window under a heat lamp for five hours, and you walk in and get two slices and a Coke for five bucks. That’s gone. That’s in the past. Now, it’s really about quality ingredients, the best dough, the best toppings and great service.”

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2SPizza offered 12” personal pies reasonably priced at $9 to $15, with names like the Figgy Smalls (black garlic puree, mozzarella, blue cheese, arugula, red onion and prosciutto) and the Grim Reaper (provolone, chicken braised in Carolina reaper hot sauce, long hot peppers, hot honey and chipotle crema). Also on the menu were various “Tot and Fry Piles,” such as the Tendie Pile (crispy chicken, bacon, BBQ sauce, dill ranch, chives, mozzarella and red onions).

The most you’d pay for any item on the 2SPizza menu was $15. The pricing seemed right for a pizza shop catering to the college crowd and downtown merchants and shoppers. Even so, business never took off, Stiglitz explained to the Delaware News Journal. “All of our 2SP family members loved the place, but the foot traffic consistently—without discounting—just wasn’t there, and our passion for food and hospitality didn’t come through to the students.”

Stiglitz and his team said they will apply lessons from 2SPizza to their other businesses. “So many great operators have been [in downtown Newark] for so long that we hoped we could add to the group. In the end, we will always learn more from our failures than we will from our successes.”