Giant pizzas, 2am pies, and other restaurant news

The Pie Guy Justin Bagley will soon ply his pies into the wee hours on weekends. Photo: Christian Hommel The Pie Guy Justin Bagley will soon ply his pies into the wee hours on weekends. Photo: Christian Hommel

By the slice 

Everything’s bigger in…Virginia, apparently. As of last Monday, Charlottesville is home to the newest location of Benny’s, a southern Virginia restaurant chain that serves up slices of pizza roughly the size of a small child. 

According to local co-owner Nick Stancampiano, each pie is 28 inches in diameter, and a slice served in house requires not one but two paper plates (and maybe a forklift). Benny’s is keeping college students full of cheese and pepperoni in Blacksburg, Radford, Smith Mountain Lake, Roanoke, and Harrisonburg, and each location is personalized with a different last name. Charlottesville’s store, at 913 W. Main St., is called Benny Deluca’s. 

Benny’s doesn’t deliver, but once students are back in town it’ll be open until 3am on weekends. The menu is pretty simple: Cheese, pepperoni, and sausage will always be available, plus two specialty options that rotate each month. August brings buffalo chicken and garlic mushroom, which Stancampiano said are two of the chain’s most popular pies.

The restaurant just got its ABC license, so it won’t be long before you can enjoy a Three Notch’d brew or a can of PBR with your 14 inches of pizza.

“Moon pie” gets a whole new meaning 

The Pie Guy, a mobile food cart that serves up traditional Australian pies, will soon be available to satisfy late-night weekend munchies on the Mall. Beginning in mid-August, Justin Bagley’s cart with its single-serving sweet and savory pies will be stationed outside Chaps on Friday and Saturday nights until 3am. The Pie Guy offers seven savory pies with fillings like steak with gravy, vegetarian quinoa chili, and Thai green curry with chicken, plus a classic apple pie and $1 sodas. Each pie is $5 a pop, and it’ll save you the trouble of asking your cab driver to make a Taco Bell stop on the way home.

Box it up 

“It’s been a very fun ride, but every party must come to an end,” said The Box co-owner Chas Webster.

Webster, who could often be found mixing cocktails and chatting with guests as the diminutive bar and music venue on Second Street S.E. filled up in the evenings, said last week that The Box will soon close its doors. Webster opened the downtown spot about eight years ago, and he said ongoing construction on the nearby Landmark Hotel made it difficult to run a restaurant.

“What was supposed to take three months ended up being a construction site for years, which is not very conducive to people wanting to come down and eat lunch,” Webster said.

Over the years, The Box increasingly became known as the place to go if you were looking for drinks under $10 and either a DJ or live band that would leave your ears ringing for days. Webster noted that it’s “hard to get people to come back to eat at a place that’s known as a bar.”

Webster didn’t comment on what the future holds for the space, but keep an eye on Facebook over the next couple weeks for announcements about final events and upcoming plans.

We’re always keeping an eye out for the latest news on Charlottesville’s food and drink scene, so pick up a paper and check c-ville.com/living each week for the latest Small Bites. Have a scoop for Small Bites? E-mail us at bites@c-ville.com.

 

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