We still don’t have a definitive opening date for Mozzeria (3228 16th Street), the new Neapolitan pizzeria coming to the former Il Cantuccio spot, but today Bay Area Bites brings us a profile of deaf, husband-and-wife owners Melody and Russel Stein, whose dream of owning their first restaurant looks be coming true any week now. Melody’s father was a restaurateur in Hong Kong and owned Wu Kong at Rincon Center, and Russ considers himself a pizza addict. Melody promises some surprises on her as-yet-unrevealed menu, including both traditional and non-traditional pizza toppings. But the most interesting story behind the restaurant is the fact that it’s the first deaf-owned restaurant in a major city, according to Russ, and one of the only ones in the country.
As is deaf custom, they’ve relied wherever possible on deaf contractors and vendors to get the place open, including some deaf wood refinishers who polished up the Douglas-fir floor in the space, a designer whose parents are deaf, and they’ve hired two deaf dishwashers as well. Melody has also put a big emphasis on lighting, and will be eschewing candlelight as that "could be dangerous during an emphatically signed exchange."
Also, they’ve imported what we believe is the city’s third Stefano Ferrara wood-burning pizza oven from Naples — the other two being at Una Pizza Napoletana and Cupola — in order to give their pizza some proper Neapolitan cred.
They’re hiring their front-of-house staff this week, and we’ll update as you soon as they reveal an opening date, or you can follow them on Facebook.
Deaf-Owned Mozzeria Shows Signs of Great Pizza Coming to the Mission [Bay Area Bites]