“Legendary Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana Opens in Bethesda on March 21”

via Pepe’s Pizza

From a press release:

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (widely-known as “Pepe’s Pizza”), an iconic Connecticut-based eatery, will open its first DMV location March 21 at Bethesda’s Westfield Montgomery Mall, 7101 Democracy Blvd.

Founded in New Haven by Frank Pepe in 1925, who immigrated to the United States in 1909 at the age of 16, Pepe’s Pizza is the originator of New Haven-style pizza, which is characterized by its signature crispy yet chewy, slightly charred crust.

Inspired by the look and feel of the original New Haven location, Pepe’s Pizza of Bethesda evokes the original’s comfort, familiarity, and tradition.

The 3,500 square-foot, 90-seat restaurant is visually dominated by the view of its 14 x 14-foot, 104,000-pound oven and the even more significant “paddle area,” where expert pizzaiolos create made-to-order masterpieces on an oak wood table and use 16-foot-long paddles to place them in the oven.

In its 97 years in business, the family-owned and operated pizza eatery has established itself as an American classic, amassing a legion of fans around the world along with a growing list of accolades and recognitions from top-tier organizations and national critics. The brand has earned the number one spot on The Daily Meal’s list of Best Pizzas in America nine times.

“It may have taken nearly a century for America’s best pizza to arrive in the DMV, but we are thrilled to finally be here.” said Jennifer Kelly, granddaughter of Frank Pepe, who will visit the store opening day. “These are our family’s original recipes,” she added. “We even replicated our signature coal-fired, hand-built brick oven using iron castings from the original restaurant.”

Pepe’s Specialty Pizzas include the original White Clam Pizza, a combination crafted by Frank Pepe himself (fresh clams with Pecorino Romano, proprietary oil blend, fresh garlic, and oregano), Spinach Mushroom and Gorgonzola (mozzarella and Pecorino Romano), and the Amanti Della Carne (Crushed Italian tomatoes, Mozzarella, Meatball, Pepperoni, Sausage, Bacon, & Pecorino Romano). In addition, guests can enjoy a traditional “Pepe’s Salad” (seasonal greens, grape tomatoes, cucumber, shredded red cabbage, Kalamata olives, Pecorino Romano, and balsamic vinaigrette) or Caesar Salad, along with a selection of red and white wines by the bottle, glass, or carafe. Non-alcoholic beverages and an assortment of imported and domestic craft beer will also be offered.

The Bethesda location will uphold the traditions that have aided in the brands success for nearly a century, including sourcing the highest quality ingredients from start to finish.

“Our goal is to ensure a consistent and first-rate experience for those who know and love the brand, as well as those trying it for the first time, said Sean Barry, general manager of Frank Pepe’s Bethesda. “We stick to traditions to create a warm experience for our guests, who we consider an extension of the Pepe’s family.”

Hours of operation will be 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. seven days a week. In addition to dining in as well as outdoor patio space, patrons can carry out by calling (301) 304-7373. A pick-up counter conveniently located inside the main entry and designated “Reserved for Pepe’s Takeout Only” parking spaces make To Go orders quick and convenient.

In addition to Bethesda and Connecticut, Frank Pepe’s also operates in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York, with locations set to open in Alexandria, VA and South Florida later this year. For more information and store locations, visit”

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