The pizza party is almost over at one of downtown’s most bustling spots. In an unexpected announcement, Playland Pizza owner and chef Stefan Bowers took to social media to share the popular restaurant's pending closure on June 30.
In the post, Bowers explained the move was prompted by an offer to move from the 400 E. Houston St. space, but he did not dive into details. Bowers did not return a request for comment by press time.
Bowers stated via social media that he will be opening a restaurant and market at the 1221 Broadway Lofts in the fall. The concept will not be a resurrection of Playland Pizza and will not serve Bower’s signature wood-fired pizzas.
“There’s numerous details, and it was a tough decision, but a positive one,” wrote Bowers in the post. “Most importantly, [the decision is] one I believe ensures what makes our restaurant culture so amazing lives long into the future.”
Bowers opened the downtown eatery on the ground floor of the Maverick Building in August 2018 with business partner Andrew Goodman. Bucking the Neopolitan pie trend, the chef focused on California-style pies built on sourdough crusts, a style he previously popularized at 20nine Restaurant and Wine Bar.
In February 2021, Bowers parted with Goodman to become the sole proprietor of Playland. Although pizza continued to anchor the menu, Bowers continued to refine the concept. In late 2021, the basement space was transformed into a chic cocktail bar. Then, in March, Playland introduced a brunch and breakfast service focused on Belgian waffles.
There’s no word yet on what will happen to the Houston Street space once Playland departs. CultureMap was unable to reach a representative of the Maverick Building for comment.