Chorney-Sales space: Franca’s makes a small scale growth with new family-run pizzeria

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For the final 20 years, Franca’s has been considered one of Calgary’s best-kept secrets and techniques. The Edmonton Path restaurant, helmed by its namesake Franca Flaviano, is tucked away in an industrial park and has at all times had barely odd hours however these fortunate sufficient to find it have fallen in love with its heartfelt Italian fare and “in-the-know” ambiance. Now, 20 years after Flaviano began her enterprise, she’s expanded with a brand new pizzeria.

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The unique Franca’s location has at all times been a little bit of a thriller to these not within the loop. Initially began as a present basket service, Flaviano, her husband, two now-adult sons, and varied different prolonged relations progressively constructed their enterprise right into a café and finally a sublime full-service Italian restaurant, open just for lunch Wednesdays via Fridays and for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights (the restaurant additionally acts as an occasions area for personal features). These restricted hours have been a little bit of a head-scratcher in a metropolis the place so many people need what we would like precisely after we need it, however for the Flaviano household, it’s been important to creating work/life stability and serving a group of regulars who’ve begun to really feel like household as effectively.

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Franca’s Pizza on ninetieth avenue S.W. in Calgary on Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023. Photograph by Heather Chapin /jpg

When the pandemic hit in 2020, Franca’s, like everybody else, needed to pivot to curbside takeout and the pure choice for an Italian restaurant was to set its sights on pizza. Conveniently sufficient, Flaviano’s husband Mario had spent years perfecting his dwelling pizza recreation and hit the bottom operating along with his superbly made pies. With eating places totally again open and the youthful era of Flavianos in maturity, Franca’s was able to increase, however relatively than shifting in direction of full-time hours on the primary restaurant, the household determined to introduce their pizza to a different facet of town.

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Franca’s Pizza quietly opened this April within the strip mall unit subsequent door to Trullo Trattoria in Oakridge. The area is clear and trendy however not fancy — this can be a take-out-only affair, although there are cafe tables out entrance on the sidewalk for patrons who can’t wait to get their pizza dwelling earlier than digging in. Pizza is the undisputed star right here, with a sturdier crust than New York-style however nowhere close to as thick as Greek-style pies. The household likes to easily name it “our pizza” as a result of it was created for them to eat at dwelling.

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The Margarita, Flav, G, Alba pizzas from Franca’s Pizza on ninetieth Avenue S.W. in Calgary. Photograph by Heather Chapin /jpg

Topping-wise, Franca’s retains issues pretty traditional, with pizzas like a Margherita ($18 for a 12” or $24 for a 16”), beef pepperoni with mushrooms ($21/$28) and the Alba, a celebration of truffles with truffle salami, mushrooms, and truffle tapenade ($25/$32). Issues actually get enjoyable with the signature pizza menu, a particular assortment of pizzas reflecting every member of the household’s favorite pizza. That is the place you’ll discover the “Flav” topped with mozzarella and french fries ($21/$28), the “Santos” with onion and Italia tuna ($23/$30) and the “Baba” with veal bolognese sauce ($25/$32). There’s even a Hawaiian pizza dubbed “Maui” which is definitely the best choice of the household matriarch (the Flavianos knew how complicated it could be to name a ham and pineapple pizza the “Nonna,” although it’s the eldest member of the Italian household’s private favorite).

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There are additionally just a few salads on the menu and, because the authentic Franca’s is on the opposite facet of city and never simply accessible, just a few take-and-bake pastas and a small collection of desserts, together with frozen trays of the restaurant’s signature limoncello tiramisu, made with house-made cream liqueur.

Franca’s Pizza operates on a pick-up-only foundation and, as with the flagship restaurant, there are just a few peculiarities, particularly that they don’t take orders on-line. Identical to within the good outdated days, clients need to name of their orders (there’s just one cellphone line, so be affected person if you happen to get a busy sign) or order on the counter in individual. This household doesn’t rush what they’re doing. It’s good to take a second and do the identical as a patron.

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There’s a small collection of take-and-bake pastas and desserts obtainable for pickup at Franca’s Pizza in Oakridge. Photograph by Heather Chapin /jpg

Franca’s Pizza is positioned at #105, 2515 ninetieth Ave. S.W. and is open Tuesday via Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (8 p.m. on Sunday). Pizzas might be ordered for pick-up by calling 403-281-5400. For extra info go to francaspizza.ca.

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In different restaurant information, if you happen to’ve been to The District at Beltline meals corridor and yearned for a pleasant beverage to scrub down your Greenfish Sushi or Trendy Burger, there’s a brand new bar choice within the constructing. Meals corridor tenants Duncan Ly (Takori) and Roy Oh (Roy’s Korean Kitchen) have partnered to create The Lounge, a licensed spot that serves grownup drinks, overseen by bar supervisor Jordan Wiltshire (previously of Milk Tiger). Friends can sit back within the venue or order drinks from the principle meals corridor by way of a QR code (there are even cocktails designed to be paired with every of the meals distributors).

The District at Beltline meals corridor is positioned at 227 eleventh Ave. S.W. The Lounge is open 11 a.m. to eight p.m. Monday to Wednesday and 11 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday to Saturday with glad hour from 2 p.m. to six p.m. and 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Elizabeth Chorney-Sales space might be reached at [email protected]. Observe her on Instagram at @elizabooth.

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