Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

More Pizza Kneaded: Pie-maker plans triple treat for Midtown

Jennie O’Neill and Bow Phrachansiri stand outside the ordering window at Knead Bar Pies inside Zeroday Brewing Co. in Harrisburg.

Fans of Knead pizza, take heart—your pie box is about to runneth over.

Last week, Knead made its first foray outside of the Broad Street Market, opening a second location, with a different style of pizza, within the confines of Zeroday Brewing Co. in Midtown Harrisburg.

And yet another location and concept is in the works, a slice shop. But more on that later. First, let’s talk “bar pie.”

According to Knead co-owner Jennie O’Neill, a bar pie can be defined as being “all about the cheese and the toppings.”

In other words, more of both, compared to the light, airy, slightly charred pie that quickly elevated Knead near the top of the pizza charts locally upon opening in the market’s stone building a year and a half ago.

“We’re doing a very different style than at the market,” O’Neill said. “So far, we’ve had a great reaction.”

O’Neill said that she considered Zeroday as a second spot upon hearing that the owners were interested in adding a kitchen to their craft brewery. What, she asked herself, goes better with beer than pizza?

Zeroday co-owner Brandalynn Armstrong is on board with that.

Customers, she said, long had asked her to expand the menu beyond bar snacks. She had even identified where the kitchen would go—in the snug area between the brewery and Midtown Cinema, where Urban Churn started before outgrowing the space and moving out its ice cream operations.

However, she needed to find the right fit.

The Zeroday owners wanted something that would complement their brews, that would be relatively simple to make and serve and that would be run by people they liked and who cared about their product.

“We wanted to find someone who is passionate about their food like we are about our beer,” Armstrong said.

O’Neill and Armstrong began serious discussions after getting to know one another when they both opened in the Broad Street Market’s stone building.

“It really was a natural fit,” Armstrong said.

Both O’Neill and Armstrong emphasized that the pizza at Zeroday is different not only from the Knead pizza at the market, but different from other styles in Harrisburg—cheesier, gooier, more robust. To that end, Armstrong hopes that customers will not just eat in, but also will take out—ordering through the new Knead “window” and leaving the brewery with a pizza and a crowler or growler of beer.

“It’s pizza, but it’s something unique,” Armstrong said. “You can’t get it at just some place down the street.”

The “bar pie,” though, won’t be the only new pizza in town. Knead also is in the process of taking over the corner storefront space in Midtown that long has been home to Mercado’s Pizza.

The Mercado’s owner plans to retire, said O’Neill, so has put his business, including the beer license, up for sale. After the license transfers and following some renovations, the space will become home to Knead Slice Shop, featuring thick-cut Sicilian and thin-crust New York-style slices and pies.

In other words, Knead will serve a type of pizza similar to the current Mercado’s—and will even keep the tradition alive by staying open for the late-night-slice crowd. But customers can expect to see upgrades to the interior, the pizza quality and the beer selection.

“Were hoping for that classic pizza shop vibe,” O’Neill said. “But we will focus on more of a dine-in experience and will feature craft beers from PA.”

The grand opening depends upon how long the liquor license transfer and renovations take, but O’Neill is hoping for a few months down the road.

So, there you have it—three Knead pizzerias, three different pizza experiences.

“It’s interesting to do different styles from place to place,” O’Neill said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

Knead Broad Street is located inside the stone building of the Broad Street Market, Harrisburg. Knead Bar Pies is located inside Zeroday Brewing Co., 250 Reily St., Harrisburg. Knead Slice Shop will be located at 937 N. 3rd St., Harrisburg. For more information, visit the Facebook page.

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