It’s 2:30 in the afternoon, and technically Lampo Neapolitan Pizzeria has just closed, having finished lunch service and not reopening for dinner until 5. Yet, the atmosphere in the restaurant is anything but quiet. There are vendors coming and going, and plenty of slicing and chopping taking place in a mad dash to get prepped ahead of the evening rush.
“We close for two hours, but that’s only so we can catch up for dinner service,” co-owner Loren Mendosa explains, alluding to the packed house of diners here virtually every day since the restaurant opened right before Christmas. Business has been so good that the Lampo team—including Loren and co-owners Mitchell Beerens, Ian Redshaw, and Andrew Cole—is sprinting to keep up.
“We prep 180 doughs for the weekdays and about 240 for the weekends—on a typical night, we’ll have under 12 remaining,” Loren says.
Whipping up a new batch on a busy night isn’t an option due to the dough’s 72-hour fermentation time—part of what makes for authentic neapolitan pizza. “So,” Loren adds, “when we’re out of dough, we’re out of dough.”
What makes Lampo’s success perhaps even more impressive is that its tiny dining room seats only 21 at a time—14 on the floor and seven at the bar. This space—right at the mouth of Belmont on Monticello Road—sits in a small box of a building, which means that not only is the dining room compact, the kitchen is, too.