Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, a famed New York pizza concept, has just signed a lease to open the brand’s first Connecticut store in Hartford County. The new location, opening later this fall at 2391 Berlin Turnpike in Newington, was part of a multi-unit agreement inked with franchisee and Connecticut local Matthew Rusconi earlier this year.
The upcoming Newington location will be the first freestanding store in the Artichoke empire, thus creating a new footprint for larger standalone Artichoke franchises in the future. The Newington outpost will span just over 1600 square feet, and will include seating for 35 people and space for a full-service bar. The freestanding location will also feature many of the same design elements, like exposed brick and antiqued tin, that characterize the existing Artichoke Pizza locations, bringing the heart and soul of the New York stores to the Connecticut community.
“We’re excited to debut a new freestanding store format in Connecticut, and are thrilled to have Matt and his team bring it to life, as they are as equally passionate about Artichoke Pizza as we are,” says Francis Garcia, co-founder and co-owner of Artichoke. “In New York, most of our locations are in centuries-old tenement buildings, so the site of this location is somewhat of a departure for us, but we have full confidence that the Newington store will transplant a little bit of New York City to Hartford County.”
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, which specializes in serving a unique style of “authentic” New York pizza, was founded in 2008 by cousins, best friends, and pizzaiolos Francis Garcia and Sal Basille. After successfully testing slivers of their signature Artichoke Pie in the breadbaskets of their family’s Staten Island restaurant, Garcia and Basille opened the first Artichoke Pizza location in Manhattan’s East Village. The concept quickly grew a cult fanbase that lauded its authentic NYC slices and whole pies, which, unlike other fast casual pizza concepts, are never made in a conveyor belt oven. Artichoke’s offerings range from the traditional (Margherita, Pepperoni, Sicilian) to the more unique, like the Surimi-topped Crab Pie and their namesake Artichoke Pie, topped with artichoke hearts, spinach, cream sauce, mozzarella, and pecorino Romano.
Artichoke has collected a slew of awards over the years, including being named ‘Best Pizza’ by The New York Post and one of the ‘Top 5 Slices in the Boroughs’ by CBS New York. The concept’s massive slices and whole pies have also garnered praise from celebrities such as Rachael Ray, Jay Leno, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Leonardo DiCaprio, among other celebrities who are often spotted at Artichoke locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The concept currently operates 12 locations in New York, Miami, and Berkeley, CA, and has more than 10 stores in development in New Jersey, Northern California, and Connecticut.
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza is the largest and fastest growing authentic New York-style pizza concept, and is partnered with Fransmart, the industry leading franchise development company behind the explosive growth of brands like Five Guys Burgers & Fries and The Halal Guys, to further grow the brand. They are currently looking for experienced multi-unit foodservice operators to develop franchise territories in major markets across the country.