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Star Chef Ashley Christensen Gets Into the Pizza Business

Pooleside Pie opens in Raleigh in 2018

Photo: Nick Pironio
Photo: Nick Pironio
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

Acclaimed North Carolina chef Ashley Christensen will open a pizzeria next year in Raleigh. Per an Instagram account created two days ago, Pooleside Pie will be located next to Poole’s Diner, Christensen’s French-meets-Southern restaurant that’s a member of the National 38 and the Southern 38.

The Instagram accounts reveals Christensen conducting pizza research in Naples — perhaps an indication that Pooleside Pie will go in the direction of wetter pies on wood-fired crusts. Pooleside Pie has been in the works since at least 2015, with Christensen eying Neapolitan pies from the get-go.

Pooleside Pie will join Christensen’s ever-growing list of Raleigh restaurants, which currently includes Poole’s Diner (basically the flagship of the group), the burger joint Chuck’s, the fried chicken specialist Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Fox Liquor Bar, and the elegant, hearth-centric Death & Taxes.

Christensen is one of a few chefs in the South opening a pizzeria right now. A Chef’s Life star Vivian Howard will debut Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria this fall (hopefully November) in Wilmington, NC. Serial restaurateur Brooks Reitz will open a red-sauce-plus-pizza joint in Charleston called Melfi’s later this year as well.

Eater has reached out for more details from Ashley Christensen. Stay tuned.

Pooleside Pie [Instagram]