Geraci’s Slice Shop – Opens Friday, May 19th

May 16, 2023

Todd Hall

Finally New York Style Pizza Back in Cleveland

Cleveland bid farewell to Vincenza’s Pizza & Pasta last summer, but on Friday, May 19, a familiar name, though not the same establishment, will make its debut in the downtown food scene. Geraci’s Slice Shop, owned by Bucky Spoth, brings a new and agile approach to pizza shops, aiming for a low-pressure and enjoyable experience. Rather than being a fourth-generation establishment, Geraci’s Slice Shop aims to be a place where friends can hang out, celebrate, and impulsively indulge in some pizza, perhaps after a few drinks.

Meet the Owners

Yes, Tito is part owner!

The Spoth family, along with partner Jason Beudert and investor Terry Francona, have envisioned the “next-generation of Geraci’s,” which aligns more closely with the slice shops of New York rather than the 60-year-old Geraci’s restaurant in University Heights. This concept was initially introduced at The Yard in Willoughby and has now been expanded significantly for downtown Cleveland.

The prominent space previously occupied by Vincenza’s has been creatively transformed into an 80s-themed pizzeria that embodies fun, nostalgia, and efficiency. With inspiration drawn from retro slice shops like Paulie Gee’s in Brooklyn, the spacious 4,000-square-foot property features wood paneling, black-and-white checkerboard linoleum flooring, vibrant tangerine-colored tables, and menus designed in a letterboard style.

Totally Redone Interior Design

Over the course of a year, the owners meticulously collected period-appropriate details, including antique pool table lights, a 1984 Coca-Cola machine, a pay phone, a vintage cigarette machine repurposed as a directional marker, and sit-down Ms. Pac-Man and Millipede arcade machines.

Spoth emphasizes the importance of nostalgia, stating that everyone should remember their first slice of pizza shared with their grandmother on a Sunday, as it creates lasting memories. He believes that’s why the nostalgic ambiance is crucial since every neighborhood has a pizza shop that serves as a pillar of the community.

MMM Pizza and Other Italian Food!

Upon entering, guests will immediately notice the robust deck ovens, salvaged and refurbished from Vincenza’s. The display case will showcase eight different pizzas, all available by the large slice, with three distinct styles: classic Geraci’s round, Grandma square, and Sicilian square. A single slice will cost only $5 or $6, and a lunch combo priced at $12 includes a slice, a side salad (or bag of chips), and a soda.

The menu also offers a selection of three salads, personal pan lasagna, meatballs with sauce, meatball and Italian hoagies, and garlic knots. Whole pizzas can be ordered as well.

The drink menu is designed for speed and convenience. It includes a variety of beer, wine, and pre-made glass-flask cocktails, which are handed over at the time of order. As a fun twist, guests can mix their own cocktails using airplane-sized liquor bottles and the soda machine stocked with soda, cranberry juice, and pineapple juice.

Instead of providing dull table numbers, guests are given a card displaying a picture of an 80s celebrity. Food runners then call out the name of the corresponding personality.

Plenty of Room Inside and a Take-Out Window

Spoth explains that the restaurant’s layout is designed to accommodate busy periods and quieter times. They aim to attract the lunch crowd and serve as a pre-game spot before events, capitalizing on the proximity of the nearby stadiums.

Bright neon signs outside direct customers to the walk-up window, making it a convenient late-night destination as well, according to Beudert.

The indoor seating area can accommodate 85 people and features window-front pizza rails made from live-edge wood. Additionally, a sidewalk patio with 25 seats offers a turf base and lawn chairs for outdoor dining.

Check out Garaci’s Slice Shop website and prepare to enjoy this amazing new pizza that Clevelanders will love

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