Pizzaiolo Primo to Reopen in Market Square

April 1, 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, has been purchased by the Ron Sofranko Group, which includes Sofranko and partners. The restaurant will reopen with takeout food becoming available by mid-April and in-house dining available by May 1, in accordance with Pennsylvania state guidelines. The services of Pizzaiolo Primo’s previous general manager, Michael Zimmerman, and several staff members will be retained. In addition, the restaurant’s original executive chef, Richard Sphatt, will return.

“We’re thrilled to bring Pizzaiolo Primo back to Downtown Pittsburgh and provide the great Italian food and wines the restaurant’s patrons love so much,” said Sofranko, who was a partner in the establishment when it opened as Il Pizzaiolo Market Square in 2013. “Bringing back the general manager, the original executive chef and members of the staff was important to us, and we’re thrilled we were able to do that. We’re very confident Pittsburgh’s restaurant scene will rebound from the pandemic soon and purchasing Pizzaiolo Primo was a way for us to put our money where our mouth is.”

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 different 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.

Kristin Wenger | Baker Public Relations