Mangia Neapolitan Pizza serves up slices of the East Coast
May 15, 2015
Roughly translated, the "Mangia" in the name of the new pizza place in town, Mangia Neapolitan Pizza, is a simple plea: "Let’s eat."
It’s a mantra owner Robert Cooper hopes Parkites take to heart. He opened the restaurant, at 1300 Snow Creek Dr., about three weeks ago, and so far, people have been happy to take him up on the request.
"A lot of people are looking for a good pizza place, and a lot of feedback we’re getting is from locals who love the pizza," he said. "It’s amazing how many East Coast people are in Park City. And this is East Coast pizza, so those people are like, ‘This is like home.’"
Mangia Neapolitan Pizza began with several locations near the Boston area. When Cooper first discovered the pizza, through a business partner involved with the chain, he knew it would be a hit in the West.
"I went and tasted the pizza — and I like to think I’m a pizza snob — but I tasted that pizza and was like, ‘Dude, this is something for sure we don’t have out here,’" he said.
Cooper, a Sandy resident, thought Park City would be the perfect place to start expanding the brand to this side of the country.
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"You’ve got a great local base, but then you get the tourism as well," he said.
Opening in the mud season offers a chance to get things up and running to prepare for the rush of customers Cooper is confident will flood the restaurant before long.
"It was a strategic decision. We wanted to get the operations side dialed in," he said. "We’re a new concept here but bringing talent and the recipes from back East, so my idea was to get everything set up here and get a good month or so of operations to ease into it before another busy season."
But while tourists come and go, catering to locals is the restaurant’s focus. Cooper has invested much of his time to connecting with the community and other local businesses. The restaurant offers a two-slice-and-a-drink lunch special to lure in customers and is using a grassroots marketing strategy to make a name for itself in town.
"Anybody can do business in the busy season," Cooper said. "It’s the locals we count on for that foundation because they’re here all the time. We want to be totally dialed into the community. If we can give you good value, great quality and a great customer experience in a nice environment, you will come back."
While establishing a reputation for excellent customer service is crucial for the restaurant, the pizza is the star of the show. Cooper said the ingredients are all made fresh on-site. The all-wheat dough, which is made without ingredients such as oil, sits light in the stomach.
"There’s truly a healthy side to pizza, and we want to show that," he said.
The result, Cooper said, is a truly authentic product.
"We call it kind of a snap-and-chew," he said, adding the restaurant also offers wraps and salads and other appetizers. "That’s really the signature of a good East Coast thin-crust pizza — it’s got that snap to it where you kind of tug at it and it tears off. We focus on the ingredients and then you taste it and it speaks for itself."
The restaurant also offers delivery throughout town, and Cooper is adamant that, like the pizza, the delivery service represents the best Mangia Neapolitan Pizza has to offer.
"I don’t really want to hire a service to deliver our pizza along with other food," he said. "We’re hiring our own drivers, and if I’ve got to drive a pizza to your house, I’ll drive it."
Mangia Neapolitan Pizza will hold a grand opening ceremony May 30. Cooper said the event will include a ribbon-cutting, as well as $1 slices of pizza. For more information, visit mangiaparkcity.com.
Mangia Neapolitan Pizza
1300 Snow Creek Drive