Brookline Wins Frank Pepe’s Lottery, Should Prepare for Hungry Hordes

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Connecticut is one of the oldest continually run pizzerias in the country, and it’s famous for its white clam pizza. It was founded in 1925 and now has locations across Connecticut, in Yonkers, New York, and it’s coming this fall to Chestnut Hill.
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is famous for the white clam pizza. –David Lyon / The Boston Globe

It’s been four months since we first got word that heaven in pizza form would be coming Boston’s way, but today things got real.

Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria is coming to Brookline’s Washington Square next year, and the Boston area’s collective mouth should already be watering.

The pizzeria will open at 1634 Beacon St. after The Fireplace, which currently remains open at the location, closes its doors on December 31, 2014 after 13 years in business. Jim Solomon, the chef and owner of The Fireplace, will instead focus his time on his catering business. And while that might be sad for some fans of his restaurant, their emotional pain will be brief thanks to the cheesy, tomato-y, char-crusted goodness of Pepe’s.


In case you need a reminder, Pepe’s will be bringing with it nearly 90 years of experience making the best damn pizza this country has to offer all while competing with two other places that make some of the best damn pizza this country has to offer.

That means two things: Pepe’s won’t be worried about competing against the likes of Otto or Galleria Umberto, and poor Washington Square is about to get a hell of a lot busier.

Oh, and don’t feel too bad for Solomon. Coincidentally, he’s from New Haven and he’ll be the first to tell you that Pepe’s impending arrival a good thing for everybody.

“As a resident of Washington Square, there are not many restaurants that I would be comfortable turning our space over to,’’ Solomon said in a statement. “But it is a dream to transfer our lease to Pepe’s to let them build a new tradition here, and for them to introduce their outstanding product to Bostonians. I will be a frequent customer.’’

Pepe’s likely won’t start slinging pies until sometime next year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on your excitement because now that we have the where, it’s only a matter of a definitive when.

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