Can the Washington, D.C. metro area ever have too many pizza shops? Perish the thought. The region just got another one as Wiseguy Pizza opened its sixth location, this one in Herndon, Virginia. Wiseguy has taken over the Big Buns Damn Good Burgers space at 1142 Elden Street.

It’s the second Wiseguy Pizza store to open in the area in less than six months, suggesting rapidfire growth. Nuri Erol opened the first location in 2012, sparking a positive review from The Washington Post, which described the pizza as “pretty darn close” to New York quality.

In 2013, Todd Kliman, a James Beard Award-winning food critic for The Washingtonian, opined that Erol’s Margherita pizza “belongs in the conversation of best in the city.” And in 2022, Eater Washington DC said Wiseguy was “the closest thing D.C. has to a true New York-style pizzeria.”

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Thompson Hospitality, which describes itself as the country’s largest minority-owned foodservice provider, acquired Wiseguy in 2022 and also owns Big Buns. Wiseguy Pizza will move into the Big Buns location to leverage its grab-and-go capabilities, according to a press release.

“We chose to transition from Big Buns to Wiseguy Pizza for several reasons,” said Alex Berentzen, COO of Thompson Hospitality. “Our proximity to another Big Buns within just five miles led us to consider the opportunity to embrace the Herndon community even more fervently.”

Berentzen said the company aims to expand its portfolio throughout the DMV region.

It’s quite an impressive portfolio, too, with a total of 15 restaurant brands and 70-plus locations. The brands include The Delegate, offering rooftop dining in the heart of D.C.; Hen Quarter, featuring southern cuisine from Food Network chef Sammy Davis in Alexandria, Virginia; three Locals Tacos & Tequila stores in Virginia; and Velocity Wings, with eight stores in Virginia.

Thompson Hospitality also owns Matchbox, a pizza chain with locations in Virginia, Maryland and Florida. There’s also Cut 132, a steakhouse in Columbus, Ohio, and the New Orleans-themed Milk & Honey, with 13 stores in Virginia and Maryland, among others.

This dramatically lit photo shows a pizza topped with bell peppers and sausage on a paddle.

Wiseguy Pizza

Wiseguy Pizza takes inspiration from Old World-Italy and New-World New York City in crafting its thin-crust pies baked in stone deck ovens. Ingredients include tomato sauce from California, cheese from Wisconsin, and EVOO and Parmigiano-Reggio from Italy. The brand also uses filtered water for better control over its dough quality.

Alongside the classics, Wiseguy Pizza has a rotating menu of specials that includes vegan and vegetarian pies as well as fun flavors such as Korean Chicken and Paneer Tikka. The brand also offers 10” cauliflower-crust pies in several variations, including the Mushroom Truffle, Il Capo, Buffalo and Backyard Pie.

Wiseguy offers slices and whole pies, including its 18” Big Apple Size, touted as “65% bigger than regular ‘large’ 14” pizzas.”

The new Herndon location will focus largely on carryout, the company said.