A longstanding and much beloved Atlanta pizzeria will open its second-ever location on the Tuscaloosa Strip later this summer, filling the slice-shaped void created when Little Italy permanently closed there last March.

The eatery, Little 5 Pizza, has been doing business in Atlanta's Little Five Points since 1987. In 2020, the restaurant was bought by Mike and Meagan Buss, who also own the Peach Pit and the French Market & Tavern brands.

Ken Holland, Buss Brands' Director of Operations, said with a Peach Pit restaurant already open in Midtown Village, it made good sense to open the second-ever Little 5 Pizza here in Tuscaloosa.

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"We're genuinely excited to be here in Tuscaloosa," Holland said. "We're not coming over from Atlanta and trying to invade this market to make a buck. Peach Pit is an already established Tuscaloosa business and we hope to open a French Market here in the future. We're expanding in the area because we love it here."

Holland added that despite growing up near Auburn, he's a lifelong fan of the Crimson Tide excited to do business so close to the University of Alabama.

Holland said Little 5 aims to open in the former home of Little Italy sometime in early August.

Their offerings will be similar to what patrons of the now-closed Tuscaloosa stable loved there -- pizza, wings, calzones and garlic knots. Holland said they will specialize in pizza by the slice, with whole pies available to those who want the entire thing.

"We feel it's a really good product. It's good pizza, it's a tried-and-true recipe that's been around for 30 years now, it hasn't changed at all," Holland said. "The people in Atlanta love it and I think the people here are going to love it. I think this pizza is going to sell itself."

Holland and his crew are still debating whether to incorporate in-house delivery, team up with a third-party service or stick to in-house service only.

He also said Little 5 will offer combo deals, including a $9.99 special for a giant slice of pizza and a beer. Like Little Italy before them, the new pizzeria will be open late, closing at midnight every weekday and at 2 a.m. each Friday and Saturday. They tentatively plan to close at 9 p.m. each Sunday.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more information on Little 5 as it becomes available, including its opening date once its announced.

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