New Jersey native and self-proclaimed pizza aficionado Matthew Olsen always thought Charleston lacked an authentic NY-style pizzeria, and when he moved to Columbia to attend USC, he discovered Pop's N.Y. Pizza, a pizzeria that lays claim to authentic N.Y.-style pie. It was love at first bite. Finally, he says, he found a place that actually has NY-style pizza. "It's a perfect place for college students. I go every Sunday when I'm in school and on nights when I'm out with friends. [The pizza's] hand-tossed and the taste is very unique," he says.
And now Pop's is coming to King Street, right in the heart of downtown across the street from Five Guys — within blocks of Andolini's, Mellow Mushroom, Pizza Rustica, Gilroy's, and Monza (not to mention D'Allesandro's, Zappo's, Mia Pomodori...). Owner Day Rutherford, who hails from the Bronx, isn't too worried about the competition, since he prides himself on making the most authentic N.Y.-style pizzas ever to come to South Carolina, creating pies as big as 20 inches. "All of our ingredients are shipped from New York," Rutherford says.
Apart from the usual add-your-own-toppings protocol, they also serve an assortment of specials like the Sicilian pizza (a 12-inch by 18-inch pie), which you have to order four hours in advance. Also on their menu are pastas, salads, bread sticks, cheese sticks, chicken wings, and Philly cheesesteaks. "The Philly cheesesteaks come from New Jersey. They're pre-made, flash-frozen, and sent straight to us," Rutherford says. We'll reserve our judgment on that last menu item until we try it, but we can't imagine a frozen premade sandwich being a good thing. Just saying.
Pop's N.Y. Pizza is set to open sometime in the following week, between May 19-21. Their hours will be from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 a.m.-4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. For a sneak peek at their menu, visit popsnypizza.com.