By Suzanne Schmidt
N. Y. Times Square Pizzeria owner Essie Priyampowlski decided it was time for a change.
She moved her restaurant from a small place in Lutz to a new location at 226 East Bearss Ave. in Tampa.
“Every pizza we make we put a lot of love into it,” Essie Priyampowlski said. “I am here to pay my bills because of course I need to do that but it is more than that. I have a passion for what I do.”
She said she decided to move it to the new location because she wanted more space so customers can sit and eat.
“After four years at the other location, I decided I needed a better and bigger location,” Essie Priyampowlski said. “I have a lot of loyal customers from the other location. They have all been calling. They couldn’t wait until we opened.”
Essie said she is a perfectionist in everything she does including making her pizzas from scratch with fresh ingredients. She said she gets her vegetables fresh every day and they are cut by hand every morning. The Italian sausage is baked in the oven and then sliced and placed on the pizza.
“We make everything fresh everyday,” Essie Priyampowlski said. “We make the dough fresh every morning and we make our own sauce. I am very proud of the quality of my food. My number one priority is quality and taste.”
Essie Priyampowlski bought the business in 2002. At that time the restaurant was in South Tampa, then four years later she moved it to Lutz because that is where she lives.
“I use many of the original recipes and add my own little touch,” Essie Priyampowlski said. “We are not just making ordinary pizza, we try to make it perfect.”
Yan Priyampowlski works with his sister Essie. He said the only way to get the right pizza dough texture is to do it by hand.
“It gives it the perfect texture so that there is the crunch and it melts perfectly in your mouth,” Yan Priyampowlski said. “It is not the same if you just pull the pre-made dough from a shelf. It is also made in a brick oven. That is one of the big differences with our pizza. You can come to our restaurant to get high-end food in a nice family restaurant-style atmosphere. ”
Soon, Yan said the restaurant will be serving beer and wine.
“We have applied for a beer and wine license,” Yan Priyampowlski said. “We are hoping to get that soon and start having happy hours from 5 to 7 p.m.”
Essie Priyampowlski said she wanted to have a pizza restaurant because it is her passion.
“If I don’t like something I will not sell it to a customer,” Essie Priyampowlski said. “I will only sell what I want to eat myself. You will not see any brown lettuce in my salad.”
Suzin Carr, Lutz Guv’na, said she has been eating the pizza from the pizzeria for three years because she loves it.
“I am from the northeast originally so I know it is true New York style pizza,” Carr said. “The texture is definitely right. I also love her Greek salad. I like Essie because she is always open to helping out in the community.”
For more information, call (813) 962-0400 or (813) 300-2784.