Detroit-Style Pizza Pops Up on Providence’s West Side

Hotline Pizza’s cult following flock for square pies with a twist

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What started as elusive pies with a waitlist has risen to a regular pop-up spot at the West Side’s Tailor Shop. Hotline Pizza – arguably leading Providence’s underground Detroit-style pizza following – has been dishing square, thick-crust pies for three years. “We started doing Detroit style because it stood out to us and we couldn’t get any in the area,” says owner Alex Russell. “It’s a very fun pie to make and can be deceiving. It looks like a lot but can eat pretty light.”

Russell and his team aren’t afraid to get creative by serving up different specials each month. Loaded Potato in March, for instance, came with the works – garlic mashed potato, cheese, bacon, scallions, and a generous drizzle of sour cream. May’s theme took a more classic route with spicy pink vodka sauce and Italian sausage with crushed cherry peppers and parmesan. Truffle Mushroom, BBQ Chicken, and French Onion have also made appearances, and Russell looks forward to the July special: a Clam and Bacon pie.

“The new spot allows us to keep our same small concept but with a little more space to do more pizzas and get them into the hands of more people,” Russell says, though there’s still an element of exclusivity. Hotline only makes 45 pizzas per day, Tuesday through Friday, with ordering – all done through Instagram – opening at noon to reserve one.

A deliberately small operation, Russell shares that his goal at the end of the day – beyond cooking up delicious pizza – is simple: “To create a healthy workplace where we enjoy our job – we love cooking but don’t like being burnt out.” 

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