Often, if you ask for a pizza recommendation in the Bay Area, you’ll hear a familiar refrain: “Go to New York.” Luckily, that may not be the case in Uptown Oakland any longer. The team behind Uptown sports pub Athletic Club Oakland have brought a slice of NYC to the neighborhood with a new pizzeria called Mama’s Boy.
Just off his team’s soft opening last weekend, co-owner Miles Palliser told The Standard that Mama’s Boy is a tribute to two matriarchs—his mother and his business partner Ezra Berman’s—both of whom hail from New York City. Palliser, who’s also a partner in the similarly named Uptown dance club Crybaby, said the impetus to open a pizza parlor was pretty simple.
“We’re basically two friends who really wanted a slice shop,” Palliser said.
In order to bring that dream to fruition, Palliser said he and Berman took a trip to New York, eating a whopping 44 slices over four days. He added that the standout pies came from Brooklyn DOP, Fini Pizza and L’industrie Pizzeria.
Palliser and Berman are also partners in the Athletic Club Oakland, so when a storefront just down Grand Avenue became available, they jumped at the opportunity. Mama’s Boy offers exclusively New York-style 20-inch round pizzas—strictly no deep dish—but Palliser said they hope to eventually add a rectangular “grandma pie” to the menu, along with sandwiches and salads.
“We put a lot of energy into what we think is going to be the best slices around,” Palliser said. “But at the end of the day, it’s just pizza, and that’s kind of our tagline.”
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