It started more than a decade ago, when Kevin Ejtemai visited the Amalfi Coast on his honeymoon. “That’s when I got into this particular wood-burning oven… I was like, ‘Hell, I want to do this in my neck of the woods! I want to bring my experience to my fellow Americans,'” he recalls.
It took until 2015 for him to open the first Crust Pizzeria Napoletana in Vienna. Now, after nearly seven years in business, he’s looking toward expansion. The second location of the Neapolitan pizza spot will open in Herndon in early January.
That’s if all goes as planned. The new Crust’s oven, certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, was supposed to arrive two weeks ago. It was shipped from Naples to Baltimore, but is currently still awaiting delivery. “That has been a challenge,” says Ejtemai.
The restaurateur says that he picked Herndon for his second location because “it’s a cute little town,” not too far from the original location. The time seemed right, he adds, because post-pandemic, “landlords are willing to give you a break. It’s a good time to expand.”
And the Herndon spot, in the location left empty by Italian District, will not be the last. Ejtemai says that he’s eyeing both Chinatown in DC and Bethesda, Maryland for future openings. In fact, he plans to open five or six more Crust Pizzerias in the next four or five years, he says. Which means one is likely to bring real Neapolitan pizza close to you soon.
360 Elden St., Herndon
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