It’s always great to see a deserving pop-up restaurant open a permanent brick-and-mortar space, after building a following and accumulating some savings and stability. But it’s a cause for real celebration, particularly during a pandemic that has wiped out hundreds of Bay Area restaurants, to see a former pop-up expand to open new locations. And that is now the case with the square-pan, Detroit-style pizza space Square Pie Guys, who will now have a sister site to their 7th and Mission Street SF location, as the Chronicle reports that a new Square Pie Guys location is coming to Old Oakland.
They’ll be moving into the 9th and Washington Street Oakland location that previously housed a Benchmark Pizzeria that the East Bay Express reports closed in April. (Benchmark Pizzeria still has their original Kensington location in that Berkeley suburb, and they’re even running holidays specials.)
But the new Square Pie Guys is the big development here, as their new Old Oakland spot has a 2,000 square-foot parking lot that the Chronicle says will be converted into a sprawling new outdoor dining space. This Oakland location was actually slated to open before the San Francisco shop opened in July 2019, but “The location in San Francisco just happened to work out first,” according to the Chronicle. That’s unusual for San Francisco, where permit delays can last for years.
Square Pie Guys’ thick-crust, rectangular-style pizza and other fares are uniquely well-regarded for a pizza joint. Their seasonal menus and epicurean ingredients landed them on the Chronicle’s best restaurants of 2020 list, and the menu is rich with food puns (a previous seasonal menu featured “Don’t Go Bacon My Heart.”) Their very tall double-decker burger also made the Chron’s best burgers in the Bay Area, and they also serve salads, multiple varieties of chicken wings, and monkey bread dessert.
And the Guys feel they are not done expanding. “In our opinion, this is hopefully not the last one,” co-owner Danny Stoller told the Chronicle. “We’d like to bite off a couple more in the next 18 months, but there are a lot of factors.”
If you’d like to bite into some Square Pie Guys fare, their new 499 9th Street Oakland location is expected to open in February.