Jan 6, 2022 - Food and Drink

East Coast-style pizzeria now open in Optimist Park

Bird Pizzeria

Photo: Emma Way/Axios

The new Optimist Park pizza spot, Bird Pizzeria, was started by husband and wife duo Kerrel and Nkem Thompson.

Why it matters: The 125-year-old building that was formerly home to the Strudel Shop has gotten a new lease on life. Nkem Thompson says it was that perfectly imperfect spot they had been looking for.

  • “When we found this building in particular… it reminded us of home and just something we’re not used to seeing in Charlotte.”

Background: At the start of the pandemic, Kerrel Thompson, a pizza fanatic, used the time in lockdown to perfect the craft of making his own pies.

  • “He turned to me one day and was like ‘I think I’m gonna make pizza every day,’ and did,” Nkem Thompson said.
  • With enough dough to go around, Kerrel and Nkem figured they would share all that extra pizza with their community and started doing pizza pop-ups at local businesses in October 2020.

Last week, the Thompsons officially opened their brick-and-mortar spot in Optimist Park.

On the menu: Bird specializes in what the Thompsons describe as gourmet East Coast-style pizza. For now, Bird’s menu offerings include their signature 14″ whole pies and salads but will soon expand to include larger pizzas, a wider selection of salads, individual slices and sandwiches. Current offerings include:

  • A plain pie ($20) with a tomato sauce base, fresh mozzarella and basil. You can also add your own toppings such as mushrooms, jalapeños, sausage and arugula.
  • Pepperoni ($23) with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni and basil.
  • White ($22) with fresh mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, olive oil and basil.
  • Kale salad ($10).

Space: If you choose to “dine-in” there’s outdoor seating.

  • Guests can order ahead online or place an order at the walk-up window.

Location: Bird Pizzeria is located at 510 E. 15th St. Hours are 4-8pm Wednesday-Thursday and 4-9pm Friday-Saturday.

Here’s a look at the shop:

Bird Pizzeria
White pizza with fresh mozzarella, ricotta, garlic, olive oil and basil. Photo: Emma Way/Axios
Photo: Emma Way/Axios
bird pizzeria
Photo: Emma Way/Axios
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