Grabbin’ a slice with Kelham Island’s Urban Pizza Co.

How does a new Kelham Island restaurant cope when its launch night coincides with an unprecedented announcement enforcing the entire country into a three month lockdown? We speak to Urban Pizza Co. to find out…

New(ish) kids on the pizza block in Sheff, eh? What’s the story behind Urban Pizza Co?
Hey Exposed, lovely to catch up! Urban Pizza Co is a project we’ve been working on for many years. Obviously, our love for pizza certainly helps with that, but we’ve wanted to open a pizzeria that offers a more social environment. The idea is to sit alongside our Urban Entertainment brand, which includes outdoor cinemas and events (www.urbanentertainment.co.uk).

Could you take us through the menu and pick out some doughy highlights?
Our aim is to provide an Italian-inspired menu using only the finest ingredients, but still maintaining the freedom to experiment. We’ve got a few classics on there like our nduja, salsiccia, goats cheese and caramelised onion; and of course a Neapolitan-style margherita etc., but we will also be introducing some signature pieces we’ve been working on that we think people will love – from our chicken tikka pizza made with in-house tikka sauce, fresh raita and fragrant red pepper spring onion salsa. The Mexican, made with our in-house beef chilli, mozzarella, guacamole, sour cream and lime wedge. We’re also really excited about our Nduja Special, which has gone down amazingly well! I think we have done something to that one which I’ve not seen before, using a combination of sweet and spicy ingredients and honey glazed sesame and chilli flake crust. But what makes this so good is the dipping sauce that we’ve created to accompany it.

You’ve joined the exciting new retail hub down at the SteelYard Kelham on Bardswell Road. What interested in this location and how is it all coming along down there?
We’ve had SteelYard Kelham in our sights since we first spoke about the project around three years ago. We saw the huge potential then when speaking with the developers and thought it was exactly what we’d been looking for. We’ve turned two empty shipping containers into something we are very proud of, and although we are the only unit to open so far, the response and feedback has been amazing. We will also have a few more neighbours opening up over the next few
months and cannot wait to be part of a unique community.

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused significant distress to many independent businesses, and it must be especially difficult for those who’ve only recently opened. How have you adapted?
We actually officially opened the same night as the lockdown, so I think it could have been the shortest launch ever! However, we were ready from the off to start delivering via City Grab the following week and the first night of reopening we sold out in under three hours, which was unbelievable.

Any big plans moving forward to share with us?
We have some very exciting plans! As mentioned briefly above we also specialise in outdoor cinema, so with our amazing outdoor space we will be bringing movies nights to the venue, as well as live events too. Watching movies under the stars with pizza and drinks – what more could you want?

urbanpizzaco.co.uk // urbanpizzaco1

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