A new pizza restaurant is coming to Red Bank.
Local Slice food truck owner Justin Bennett is branching out with a brick-and-mortar restaurant called Pizzeria Cortile, which he hopes to open by about September.
“It was our goal to open a restaurant,” he said. “The food truck was dipping our toes in the water.”
Bennett launched Local Slice five years ago and has worked to build a following.
“I feel like we’ve come a long way since we opened, and I feel like we’re ready to do a restaurant now,” he said.
The restaurant will be an extension of the food truck, which Bennett hopes to eventually rebrand under the Pizzeria Cortile name, he said.
Initially, the main focus will be wood-fired pizza. Eventually, he wants to add more dishes, such as pasta, he said.
Bennett has been working on the 4400 Dayton Blvd. restaurant for about a year.
First, he raised $11,000 via Kickstarter to get the pizza oven, which was built in Naples, Italy, he said.
The venture will end up being an investment of about $200,000, he said.
The restaurant will have both indoor and outdoor seating, and hold about 80 people.
“The goal of the restaurant is to be a place that Red Bank doesn’t have,” he said. “It will be a full-service restaurant with beer and wine.”
Bennett, who grew up in Red Bank, said he’s looking forward to contributing to the community and economy.
“I’m excited about the change that’s happening in Red Bank,” he also said.