Chef Luciano Del Signore plans to open a Pizzeria Biga location in Ann Arbor.
Photo from Pizzeria Biga blog
“We thought that the Ann Arbor market would be a great place to show our products because Ann Arbor has very food conscious people,” he said.
As the chef behind Southfield’s Bacco Ristorante, Del Signore has gained regional acclaim after several nominations from the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef in the Great Lakes region. The Detroit Free Press also recently namedBacco Ristorante its “Restaurant of the Year.”
Del Signore’s Pizzeria Biga restaurants — with existing locations in Southfield and Royal Oak — use all-natural pizza dough and wood-fired ovens that bake at 900 degrees. Del Signore makes the sauces and many other products in-house.
“We’re purists when it comes to food,” he said.
The Pizzeria Biga menu includes Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizzas, small plates, wood-roasted entrees like chicken and salmon, pastas, soups, and salad.
Del Signore said pizzas range in price from about $9 to $14. To staff the 4,100-square-foot Ann Arbor restaurant, Del Signore will hire 35 to 40 employees.
“I’m excited,” he said. “Pizzeria Biga is something I developed with the thought in mind that we would be able to pop up several of them and keep them all in Michigan in different neighborhoods.”
Pizzeria Biga will join Cafe Zola — a downtown Ann Arbor European-inspired cafe — at Arbor Hills Crossing when the entire shopping center opens on Aug. 22.
The 100,000-square-foot development broke ground in June and will bring restaurants, retail stores and office space to the Washtenaw corridor. Max Reiswerg of Illinois-basedNorth Shore Properties Group, the company handling leasing at Arbor Hills, said there will be one other restaurant joining Cafe Zola and Pizzeria Biga, but he’s still in lease negotiations with that tenant.
“Restaurants are really a big deal to us,” he said. “We’ve had the opportunity to do all the chains, and we elected, since our center is very special and unique, to try and go with local chefs or regional restaurants.”