Dining With Denise Neil

Ziggy’s Pizza expanding east – and maybe west

Ziggy’s Pizza in Clifton Square is working on an east-side location.
Ziggy’s Pizza in Clifton Square is working on an east-side location. Courtesy photo

Ziggy’s Pizza, the popular pizza place in Clifton Square, is celebrating its fifth anniversary with some news: It’s expanding to the east side this spring and is considering a Riverside location.

The new east-side Ziggy’s will be in The Collective at East 21st Street and K-96, in the building formerly occupied by liquor store Extremo Vino. Jamie Verbeckmoes, who founded Ziggy’s in 2012 with his brother Ryan, said the new restaurant could be open by late spring or early summer. Sister Kristi Fenwick and her husband, Jonathan, will run the new restaurant.

“It’s still going to have a family feel and family atmosphere,” Jamie Verbeckmoes said. “That’s what we want to continue.”

The new restaurant will have about 3,000 square feet, Verbeckmoes said. The space also was built with a giant patio that Extremo Vino never used, but the new Ziggy’s will use it plenty, he said. The Clifton Square location is known for its idyllic patio, where diners crowd on nice nights to dine on Ziggy’s signature rectangular pizzas and toasted sandwiches. Ziggy’s also is known for its beer selection.

The Verbeckmoes’ father, Joe Verbeckmoes, and Benchmark Real Estate Group worked with Marty Gilchrist to close the deal.

Jamie Verbeckmoes also addressed the Riverside neighborhood’s worst-kept secret: that Ziggy’s is eying a spot at the corner of Porter and River Boulevard, just north of Riverside Leadership Magnet Elementary School and just south of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.

People on the Riverside neighborhood’s Facebook page caught wind of the plans last year and haven’t stopped buzzing about it on social media.

The rumors are true, Verbeckmoes said. The brothers have a verbal agreement with the landlord to take over the space. But there are still some hurdles with the building that they’re trying to work out, he said.

For now, their focus will be on the east-side spot.

“We’re still open to it and hoping that that comes down the line,” Verbeckmoes said of the Riverside project. “We don’t want to disappoint anyone. Riverside is a neighborhood that we really value.”

Meanwhile, Ziggy’s will celebrate the five-year anniversary of its original location at 3700 E. Douglas in Clifton Square on Jan. 26-28 with the release of a beer it made in collaboration with Walnut River Brewing Company, as well as other activities. For event details, visit Ziggy’s Facebook page at facebook.com/ziggyspizza.

Denise Neil: 316-268-6327, @deniseneil