A cozy new pizzeria at the corner of Washington and Hawley streets in Downtown Binghamton has potential to become a popular spot for late-night snacks.
Parlor City Pizza & Co., founded by Binghamton community members Joshua Pouch and Mark Lyons, is less than a five-minute walk from the University Downtown Center and right across the street from student housing complex 20 Hawley Street. The homey, brick-clad hole in the wall used to be a hair salon, but the two friends have spent the past eight months restructuring the interior to add a pizza counter and sit-down restaurant.
“The place just kind of fell on our laps, and we just threw it together,” Pouch said.
Currently, the restaurant consists of a counter with seating for only eight people. Within the next few weeks, the main dining area and outdoor patio should be completed. Just around the corner from the bars on State Street, the pizzeria could turn out to be a lively hangout for students after nights out.
Potential customers who are anxious to share a pizza with a big group of friends before the renovations in the main dining room are done can order delivery. The pizzeria’s delivery service, which will run until 1:30 a.m. every night, might also be a good option once the weather gets too cold to go out.
“We’re hoping to do more takeout and delivery, especially in the wintertime when we can’t use the outdoor seating,” Pouch said.
Diners can expect to find a variety of pizza toppings and flavors, including classics like Meat Lover’s, local standards like chicken spiedie and unique creations like the turkey club, which consists of fresh basil, turkey, bacon and tomato on white pizza.
In addition to the pies, the eatery serves standard pizza-shop fare like stromboli, garlic knots, calzones and subs filled with meatballs, sausage or cured deli meats. For dessert, the restaurant offers its signature “Sweet Bites,” a cross between a zeppole and a cinnamon bun. New York City and Long Island natives who miss their local Italian spots might find some new favorites here.
While it is by no means a “health food” hub, Parlor City Pizza has a few options for customers who might want something a little less doughy. The restaurant serves a few flavors of wings, including its signature “Parlor City Style,” and the wings are baked instead of deep-fried.
The restaurant also make a house, chef’s and antipasto salads, and are working to incorporate more vegan options into its menu. Gluten-free pizzas are not on the menu, but they can be made upon request.
Though it may seem that a casual pizzeria near the State Street bars would cater only to BU students late at night, patrons from the community have been enjoying their food — for lunch and dinner — since the restaurant’s opening in June.
Pouch admits that there was no grand revelation that prompted them to enter the pizza business, and neither Pouch nor Lyons has any pizza-making experience. They grew up with a few knowledgeable pizza makers from the area who are now working at the restaurant, and they said that support has been invaluable to the launch of the business.
“We just knew that there was a demand here for good New York-style pizza, and we have people who we know can make great pizza,” Pouch said.