Stina, the much-anticipated Newbold/West Passyunk pizzeria at 1705 Snyder Avenue, opens tonight, Friday May 31st at 5:00pm. This 24-seat casual BYO is brought to you by Executive Chef Bobby Saritsoglou and his wife–and the restaurant’s namesake–Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou. The restaurant is a passion-project that celebrates his love of cooking and food, and her life-long work of helping others.
The couple, who have lived nearby in Newbold for a decade, developed two guiding principles:
- offer delicious brick oven pizza and Mediterranean fare made from the finest and freshest locally sourced produce at an affordable price.
- serve the community surrounding the restaurant by donating a portion of the monthly sales to local charities, community projects and school programs
“We want to serve good food and at the same time serve the local community around us – this is important to who we are and our beliefs – and the two go hand in hand,” said Saritsoglou.
The Mediterranean-inspired menu includes small plates, salads, sandwiches, home-made pastas, house-made breads, desserts and many vegetable offerings. The stars of the show are wood-fired pizzas, and the pide, a stuffed Turkish bread.
There is one cooking implement: a 4,000 lb. Morello Forni wood-fired oven, shipped directly from Genoa, Italy. The restaurant’s facade had to be removed to install the oven. When fully fired up, the oven can cook a pizza in two minutes at 700 degrees.
As Saritsoglou noted, “The wood-fired oven will be the heart of our operation, from pizza to bread to roasted meats and vegetables all gently kissed by smoke.”
Lunch service will feature slices at the counter, but at dinner its full pies only.
Stina’s cozy interior design invites the eye to wander. Its a blend of the couple’s eclectic tastes. Saritsoglou incorporated his collection of reclaimed doors and windows. He’s been collecting them for over ten years, with the goal of using them in a dining space. Mission accomplished!
Kallas-Saritsoglou, a co-founder of nonprofit Philly AIDS Thrift, decorated the 900 square-foot space with vintage frames, artwork, and tchotchkes. “Walls are like canvas for me,” she said. “I’ve spent my entire life curating collections of vintage and thrift items…This is my biggest piece of art and I’m proud to show off the story we created.”
She added, “While people will remember the food, first and foremost, I want them to also remember the space and the fuller experience they are walking away with.”
Stina will give back to the community each month by donating a portion of daily sales to local charities, plus host a monthly fundraising night for the charity of the month.
Neighborhood groups can use the space for meetings on Mondays and available mornings and afternoons.
Saritsoglou was executive chef at Center City’s Opa until 2017, followed by a stint at East Passyunk’s Will BYOB (which, sadly, closes this weekend). He found the space while on his way home one night. The building, which in previous incarnations served as a cupcake shop, candy store, and women’s apparel retailer, needed a lot of TLC. But the couple is bullish about the area.
“What excites us about the neighborhood is the wonderful diversity that already exists, people from the Middle East, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Italy as well as our neighbors on either side of us from Asia and West Africa,” said Saritsoglou. “We are thrilled to join new and old businesses around us, like Miss Rachel’s Pantry, the International Gourmet Market, ARS Brewery, Cafe Naan, La Mula Terca, and Thirsty Souls, which have been life-giving to some of these forgotten blocks. We are excited to be part of this rebirth.”
He concluded, “This isn’t just a business, but it is an extension of our home and our life. We can’t wait to play host for the first time when we open this week – and invite you all inside.”
For reservations and more information:
Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1: 5pm to 11pm.
Starting the week of June 3, the restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner:
Tuesday–Thursday: 11am to 10pm
Friday and Saturday: 11am to 11pm
Watch for delivery to begin in late June.