It’s no surprise that Spirit has become a popular spot since opening in April. Not only does it offer dance parties and live bands, but it has great pizza, courtesy of Slice Island.
This isn’t some slap-dash, food-for-drunks setup. The venue in the wood-paneled former Lawrenceville Moose Lodge was opened by Jeff Ryan and Tom Barr, the former being the man behind Pizza Boat, a food truck with its own wood-fired oven. “One hope I’d had was to eventually morph [Pizza Boat] into a brick-and-mortar business,” Ryan says. But he wanted it to be a creative and communal space as well. “So,” he says, “we banished the Pizza Boat to Slice Island, changed up the pizza to try something new, and built the rest of Spirit around that concept.”
The menu changes every Tuesday, and always includes meat, veggie and cheese options. But this is atypical fare: One recent veggie offering included mozzarella, kale, roasted garlic, lemon and ricotta. Everything is made from scratch, and selections are based on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients available that week.
While much of the business comes from bar-goers, Slice Island gets its share of take-out orders and sit-down diners, especially during the Sunday pizza brunch. “We get all kinds of people coming through Spirit, because the programming is pretty diverse, and pizza is the perfect food for that,” Ryan says. “Everyone likes pizza.”