by Ian McNulty
A New Orleans company better known for daiquiris and pizza slices in the French Quarter plans to open a much different concept on Magazine Street.
Renovations are now underway for a pizzeria called Amici, which will serve pizzas prepared in a coal-fired oven. The restaurant is expected to open around mid-June at 3218 Magazine St., which had been the home of Byblos before that Middle Eastern restaurant moved a block up the street last year.
Amici is being development by the same management company that runs Jester Mardi Gras Daiquiris and Pizza (its motto: “Home of the World’s Strongest Drink”). Jester operates three daiquiri shops on Bourbon Street and a fourth in Destin, Fla. and has a related beverage mix supply company.
While Amici’s menu is not yet available, marketing manager Michelle Jones explains that the restaurant’s concept is centered on a coal-fired pizza oven. This approach to pizza is more common in the traditional pizza hubs of the Northeast, and it typically produces crisp, thin-crusted pies with an element of smokiness from the coals. Rocketfire Pizza Co. in Covington is one nearby example of the coal-fired method, which differs from the wood-fired ovens used at prominent local pizza specialists Ancora and Domenica.
Another part of the Amici concept is an “icehouse,” which Jones explains is a beer bar with about 50 different brews on tap, along with a specialty in frozen liquors.
There will be plenty to drink, but Jones says Amici is aiming for a “family-friendly” feel. It’s also a concept the company may expand. In fact, the company was initially looking for locations in Baton Rouge to open the first Amici, but Jones says plans changed back to New Orleans when the Byblos location became available.
3218 Magazine St., phone n.a.