May 4, 2021
Popular Italian Eatery Has Been Purchased by the Ron Sofranko Group
PITTSBURGH, PA — Pizzaiolo Primo, the popular Italian eatery in Market Square that closed last December due to the pandemic, was recently purchased by the Ron Sofranko Group, which includes Sofranko and partners. The restaurant was originally scheduled to reopen on May 1, but that was postponed due to staffing issues. However, those issues have been resolved and Pizzaiolo Primo will now reopen on Tuesday, May 11.
Hours of operation during the first week will be 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (May 11-13) and 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday (May 14-15). Beginning the following week (May 17-22), hours will be expanded to 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Pizzaiolo Primo will be closed on Sundays.
The services of Pizzaiolo Primo’s previous general manager, Michael Zimmerman, have been retained. In addition, the restaurant’s original executive chef, Richard Sphatt, has returned.
“With the number of restaurants in Downtown Pittsburgh opening and capacity limits now expanded, it’s a challenging environment to become fully and properly staffed,” said Sofranko, who was a partner in the establishment when it opened as Il Pizzaiolo Market Square in 2013. “It took a little longer than we anticipated to get to that point, but we’re now certain that we’ll be able to provide the same great food and service that Pizzaiolo Primo customers love so much.”
Pizzaiolo Primo, located at 8 Market Square, features authentic Neapolitan cuisine including a wonderful selection of pizza, pasta, and Italian wines amidst European ambiance with seating for more than 90 people over two floors and a bar on each floor. Pizza is prepared in a wood-burning oven that was assembled by Italian artisans that cooks at nearly 1,000 degrees.
Since 2000, Sofranko has led the Wexford-based Sofranko Advisory Group, which specializes in consulting, financing and brokering restaurants, bars, beer distributors and liquor licenses. It is one of the largest, full-service hospitality consulting firms in Pennsylvania. The Ron Sofranko Group and the Sofranko Advisory Group are separate entities.
Sofranko, the managing partner for Pizzaiolo Primo, has owned more than 25 restaurants and consulted on the opening of more than 100 others over the past 30 years. Currently, he is also a partner or owner in seven other restaurants in the Pittsburgh region. Sofranko left a corporate job in geophysics to open his first restaurant in 1987. He developed a dozen restaurants between 1987 and 1999 before founding the Sofranko Advisory Group in 2000.