On Aug. 3, community members participated in the grand opening celebration of Playa Pizza. Located in Horizon West, Playa Pizza is a New York-style pizza spot with a beachy twist.
Playa Pizza Origin Story
Stephen Facella, owner and founder was furloughed from Orlando’s hospitality industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. So, while in Puerto Rico, he asked his wife to “run away and be beach bums, raising barefoot kids.” And just like that, the idea to bring the beach to Orlando was sealed.
At Playa Pizza, guests can enjoy a summer atmosphere and the interior is filled with a mix of vibrant colors made by Orlando-based Tonester Paints. The walls are also lined with commissioned art by Daniel “Krave” Fila, a Miami-based graffiti artist.
Pizza, pasta doughs and breads at Playa Pizza are made in-house exclusively using the New York Watermaker. This patented water replication system mimics the mineral composition of New York City, allowing guests to experience true New York-style pizzas.
With indoor and outdoor seating options, Playa Pizza can accommodate 150 guests for lunch, dinner and late-night bites. The restaurant offers a full liquor bar and is home to weekly live music, trivia nights and other fun social activities.
Playa Pizza prides itself on supporting the community and building an inclusive society. The restaurant partners with employU to help provide job opportunities for people with disabilities. In addition, Playa Pizza works to reduce carbon footprints. The restaurant uses reusable materials, water-conservation systems, sustainability sourced packaging and geographically located vendors.
Proceeds from the grand opening will benefit the Full Belly Fund. Established by Facella and his wife Danielle, the Orlando-based charity combats food insecurity among the area’s hospitality industry workers and their families.
“We are homegrown and proud to support the communities in which we operate,” Facella says. “Not only are we giving back to local charities such as the Full Belly Fund, but we have created more than 45 living wage jobs, and will foster a supportive, healthy work environment for our teammates.”
Facella is a 2005 graduate of UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management, and he is passionate about increasing the perception of the hospitality industry as a viable and honorable career path. He is responsible for the creation of the Playa Pizza menu.
For more information visit playapizza.com