Pizza Rita is the latest North Fork food truck to go brick-and-mortar

Jeff Marrone outside his pizza truck which he named “Pizza Rita” after his late grandmother. (Credit: Vera Chinese, file photo)

Mobile pizza truck company Pizza Rita is opening its first brick-and-mortar location in Mattituck this spring.

The eatery, currently under renovation, is located in the former Sicilian Pizza & Pasta, next to Wendy’s Deli.

Jeffery Marrone founded Pizza Rita in 2015 out of a fully restored 1946 Chevrolet rack pick-up truck and has since been making the rounds serving Neopolitan-style wood-fired pizzas made with homemade mozzarella and imported flour and tomatoes.

After four years on the road, the Orient resident was ready for more permanent digs when he signed the lease on the 1,400-square-foot space earlier this month. Marrone is hoping to open by April after the renovations, which include adding a new wood-fire oven, are complete.

“My goal has always been to get a storefront,” he said. “The truck has been a great way to get my name out there and show people the style of pizza I made. The storefront allows me to have a home base on the North Fork.”

The Culinary Institute of America graduate, who has worked for Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, The 1770 House in East Hampton, The Quogue Club in Quogue and 1943 Pizza Bar in Greenport, said the brick-and-mortar pizzeria will be a welcoming family-friendly eatery. Guests can expect many of the same pizzas available from the truck, such as traditional pizza margherita and more creative takes like the Il Sole made with ricotta crust and topped with pork sausage. Fried calzones, Italian entrees and homemade gelato will also be offered.

“I just want people to come and relax and have a great experience,” Marrone said. “The menu will be familiar, but will change based on the season and what is being grown around here. That is what originally drew me to the North Fork — there are a lot of great farms. It is a foodie mecca.”

Pizza Rita is the latest North Fork based food truck to set up a brick-and-mortar shop. Rolling in Dough was first, establishing 1943 Pizza Bar in 2014. Last year, MattiTaco — a brick-and-mortar offshoot of the Noah’s on the Road food truck — opened in the former Crazy Fork on Main Road in Mattituck.

“Most people are moving away from brick-and-mortar; that seems to be the trend,” Marrone said. “But there is something memorable about having a dining experience in a restaurant and that is what I hope to bring to the table.”

Pizza Rita’s mobile food truck operation will roll on. Marrone said he plans to continue Friday pizza night at Moustache Brewing Co. in Riverhead in April and is planning to return to the Townsend Manor Inn in Greenport for Tuesday night pizza pop-ups during the summer. The food truck can also be booked for private events such as weddings or birthdays.

Pizza Rita’s soon-to-be-open brick-and-mortar storefront is located at 55 Middle Road in Mattituck.