There's a new addition to Columbia, Missouri's pizza scene: Pappo's Pizzeria officially opened its fourth location last week.
Pappo's, which has locations in Springfield and Lake of the Ozarks, is a small pizza chain that specializes in housemade pizza. The pizzeria offers a wide range of crusts – including hand-tossed, St. Louis-style, gluten-free and, now, cauliflower – and toppings, both classic Italian and nontraditional.
Besides pizza, Pappo's concentrates on other Italian specialties, influenced by owner Chris Galloway's Italian mother. You can get appetizers like fourth-generation hand-rolled meatballs, insalata caprese or mozzarella and tomato crostini, or veer from Italian and try some of Pappo's award-winning baked wings.
Galloway says that he has wanted to bring Pappo's to Columbia for years, but never found the right space for the restaurant. But when the new location on Nifong came along, it seemed perfect, as Galloway was looking for a wood and stone interior to create the feel diners have come to expect from Pappo's, as well as a bar that could handle the 32 craft beers on tap.
Columbia also makes a lot of sense for Pappo's as a new market. Galloway says that many people have tried Pappo's in Springfield or Lake of the Ozarks, and that some have been begging for a Columbia location for years.
"We do have a head start," he says.
Galloway also says that the reaction since opening last Wednesday has been the best he's ever seen. He says he's opened over 50 restaurants in his life, but he's never seen reaction like what they're getting in Columbia.
"It's a very friendly reception we're getting, and very high marks," he says.
And the feeling is mutual: Galloway adds that the Pappo's team thinks highly of the people in Columbia and that the team really wanted to have a presence in the town.
"We are so stoked about this opportunity," he says.
Pappo's Pizzeria, 10 W. Nifong Blvd., Columbia, Missouri, 573.818.1790, papposbrewco.com