The New Lorenzo’s Pizza

NBC10.com has the first look at the iconic South Street pizza spot just days before its set to return from a devestating fire.

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The windows will all eventually be wrapped with a plastic film like the one in the upper left, said owner Giuseppe Pulizzi.
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The post-fire Lorenzo's that has remained closed since the June 27 blaze is on the right. The new-look Lorenzo's is on the left.
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NBC10 Philadelphia
One of the most popular late-night, quite-bite restaurants in Philadelphia opened it's doors Monday -- 10 months after fire gutted Lorenzo & Sons on South Street
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Second-generation owner Giuseppe Pulizzi (seen here with his sister and co-worker Nella Pulizzi) has worked for months to bring back the late-night food staple.
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Pulizzi said the biggest change is the front of the store. Gone is the wood facade. In it's place is a special wrap with the painting of Pulizzi's father holding a pizza pie.
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Pulizzi said that LED lights will be installed in coming days to light up the facade. The lights will change colors and can be set to be red and white for Phillies games, Green for Eagles games and even pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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The updated plastic-wrapped version of the facade almost didn't happen since the original painting files were lost but thanks to this copy that Pulizzi had hanging in his home they were able to get it looking close to the original.
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A major change on the facade -- no Coca-Cola bottles. Pulizzi said Lorenzo's is now serving Pepsi products instead.
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Pulizzi said that a company that normally wraps buses or casinos custom-made the facade. It's so seamless that it looks like it was painting on the bricks.
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The plastic wrapped facade gives way to a completely glass facade where the old restaurant had only a glass door.
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Let's take a look inside.
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Part of the new look includes a new logo including the 1970 date when Pulizzi's father first started making pizza before moving to 305 South Street in the late 1980s.
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One of the biggest new features is the marble counter top where mega slices will be served.
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Other aspects of the now modern-looking Lorenzo's includes metal lamps and a gray, silver and white look. Project engineer Donald Scholz of Oaks, Pa. design firm CVM says Pulizzi made many of the choices for the decor.
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Another major change is that carpets like this one will lead hungry customers in through the entrance, and out through the exit -- that's right, gone are the days of folks going in and out the same door.
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The hats are ready, so when will pizza be served?
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This pizza paddle was one of the few items that survived last year's fire, Pulizzi said. It's just waiting to pull the first pizza from the oven.
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The pizza dough pans will start being filled on Saturday as Pulizzi begins making test batches ahead of Monday's soft opening.
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Of course to make mega pizzas (so big it takes two regular large pizza boxes to haul one pie) you need mega ovens.
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Each of the ovens weighs hundreds if not thousands of pounds and getting them in the door was one of the hardest tasks in getting Lorenzo's back in business, according to the designer.
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Pulizzi said that by expanding to four total ovens he can make more pizza.
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Lorenzo's aficionados might notice the new pizza stones in the ovens. Will it change the taste? “The myth is that if you change the pizza stones that the pizza’s going to be different…I actually believed it for the longest time until I got rid of my oven… you couldn’t even tell the difference,” Pulizzi said.
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The big difference with these ovens is that they will be cooking not only full pies with toppings but also slices with toppings -- on Tuesdays only if it's after midnight plain slices only. "It's like a bar, if it's 2:01 you aren't getting served," Pulizzi said.
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Anyone who went to the old Lorenzo's knew that the oven would warm the place up. This time around Pulizzi has installed temperature control so that patrons will feel comfortable no matter the time of year.
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The pizza is coming.
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The big event will be the Grand Opening ceremony Friday with WMMR's Preston and Steve. Half of the proceeds from that days' sales will go to Philabundence, Pulizzi said.
nAnd, as for the hours, nothing has changed. Open at 11, closed at 3 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends.
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