Top left corner: Giulio Adriani stands by the invisible
door inside Espoleta Tapas & Wine Bar that leads
to SRO; Bottom: Adriani with his son; Above
bottom on right: A view inside Espoleta
Photography: Gabi Porter
New York City’s Only Pizza Speakeasy—SRO in the Bowery
334 Bowery (near Bond St.) - New York, NY
World-champion pizzaiolo Giulio Adriani (formerly of Forcella) opened New York City’s only pizza speakeasy in January of this year. SRO, which stands for Single Room Occupancy, is situated in an inconspicuous 24-seat room illuminated by the glowing embers of a traditional wood-burning Neapolitan pizza oven. SRO also gives a nod to the Bowery of yore, when low-income housing lined the infamous row; bands like The Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie played at the now-defunct CBGBs; and neighborhood restaurants were discovered word-of-mouth.
SRO patrons enter through an invisible door inside Espoleta Tapas & Wine Bar with a street-front “No Vacancy” sign signaling when the pizzeria is at capacity or has available seating. "People love hidden gems,” says Adriani. “And I hope they'll love discovering SRO."
Adriani, who formerly helmed popular Neapolitan pizzeria Forcella in the same location, has created SRO as a test kitchen where he can exercise his creative whims for a select crowd of pizza aficionados. He hopes to host customers in a convivial, interactive, and intimate setting where guests are able to enjoy his unique culinary creations while feeling right at home.
SRO offers a $38 three-course tasting menu, including a choice of appetizer, pizza, and dessert, as well as three beverage pairings (wine, beer and non-alcoholic drinks). With the exception of the classic Margherita and Adriani's famous fried Montanara, which will always be available, the pizzas change daily and include three to four chalkboard specials.
Some of the pies include: Espoleta (chorizo, shishito peppers, Sun Gold tomatoes, fresh mozzarella); SRO (merguez, stracchino, caramelized onions); and Uptown (lardo, burrata, truffle, leeks.) To complement the tasting menu, additional pizzas are available for $10 and appetizers for $5.