As the former chef/nutritionist for the St. Louis Cardinals, Simon Lusky knows how to fire up a pizza that’s healthy—and tasty—enough for the big leagues. And it’s not St. Louis-style fare.

When Lusky and his wife, Angelica, opened Motor Town Pizza in St. Louis this month, they had already figured out that the Detroit style could put them on the fast track to success. The concept arose from COVID-19 restrictions during the pandemic. The Luskys own two Revel Kitchen operations, which focus on good-for-you food inspired by Lusky’s job feeding the Cards. But, during the pandemic lockdown, business was hurting, and they needed something different.

Their solution: They bought some rectangular aluminum pans and started offering Detroit-style pizza. “By using a pan, we could bake pizza in our existing traditional ovens,” Angelica Lusky told the Riverfront Times. “And there was hardly any outlay.”

That has now turned into a brand new pizzeria, Motor Town Pizza, which opened in mid-February in the fabled realm of Imo’s Pizza, famous for its cracker-thin-crust pizzas smeared with Provel cheese. With deep-dish Detroit-style pizzas dominating the menu, Motor Town offers dine-in seating for up to 26 guests as well as patio dining for eight.

“Detroit-style pizzas take a minimum of 20 minutes to cook in a standard deck oven,” Simon Lusky told St. Louis Magazine, “and there are hot and cold spots, so they’re impractical when doing any kind of volume.” Instead of a deck oven, the Luskys are using a gas-powered conveyor oven that provides even heat and can churn out pies in 10 minutes.

Angelica put the case bluntly to the Riverfront Times. “This place is the opposite of Revel,” she said. “No one wants that healthy stuff all the time. This is pizza. Everyone loves pizza.”

Marketing, Pizzerias