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A pizza spot with ‘belly busters’ and a familiar face opens in uptown Charlotte market

·2 min read

A new pizza spot is open at 7th Street Public Market as business returns in uptown Charlotte following the coronavirus pandemic.

Father-and-daughter Geno and Gena DiPaolo quietly opened Geno D’s Pizza Tuesday in the 250-square-foot former Pure Pizza market location after more than a month of renovations. The official grand opening is Friday, as the DiPaolos said they hope to work out any kinks over the next few days.

The news comes as other popular uptown restaurants have recently reopened, including Rí Rá Irish Pub and King’s Kitchen, as more people get vaccinated against COVID-19 and restrictions like capacity limits and masking relax.

Geno D’s Pizza’s menu includes pizzas, salad, garlic knots, calzones, and “belly busters, our version of strombolis,” the DiPaolos said.

“It’s your basic, go-to old-school pizza stand,” Gena DiPaolo said. The New Jersey-New York-style pizza will be served in three sizes: 10 inch, 16 inch and “Grandma Pie” 9-by-13 inch.

Geno DiPaolo owned his own pizza deli business in New Jersey for 35 years before moving to Charlotte. He opened Geno’s D’s Pizza in New Jersey on Aug. 1, 1986. He was 25 years old then, the same age as his daughter is now.

“I always wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps,” Gena DiPaolo said.

Geno DiPaolo is familiar with the market, having been general manager for Pure Pizza for eight years before it closed this year. Juli Cher Ghazi closed the uptown Pure Pizza location during the pandemic due to lack of foot traffic, the Observer previously reported. The Central Avenue location remains open serving the scratch-made “farm-to-fork” style pizza.

Geno DiPaolo said the market is the perfect place for their “pizza spot” with ImaginOn nearby.

The DiPaolos plan to hire about four full- and part-time employees.

Pickup and limited delivery service is available at genods.com. Hours are 11 am. to 7 p.m. daily, except Monday when the restaurant is closed.

About 7th Street Public Market

The 7th Street Public Market is a nonprofit founded nearly a decade ago and is led by an 11-member board. Charlotte Center City Partners provides support services.

It’s located at the base of the 7th Street Station parking deck, between 6th and 7th streets next to the Lynx Blue Line.

Part of the market’s mission is to support and incubate local, small businesses, like Geno D’s, said Chris Clouden, executive director for the market.

Other vendors at 7th Street Public Market are: Momo Station Asian Fusion, Hazelnuts Creperie, Orman’s Cheese Shop, Tanks Tap, Rico’s Acai, Not Just Coffee, CLT Find, Viva Raw, Assorted Table Wine Shoppe, It’s Poppin gourmet popcorn and Good Earth Essentials.

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