Red Bench Pizza. Great thing about foodies, is that there’s one for every food under the sun. Whilst I do pies, I have many fellow foodies who delight in other fine food and drink, from beer and wine connoisseurs to BBQ, pizza and beyond. This week, I took a moment to hit up a buddy of mine who fancies pizza, and has taken on the ‘difficult task’ at trying out a number of local Treasure Valley pizza establishments. I had him give me his personal top 3, and tried out one of them today. Red Bench Pizza!
Although some of you may be unfamiliar with Red Bench Pizza, you may not be be unfamiliar with its location on Vista Ave., home over the last decade or so to many other pizza establishments. As told in James Patrick Kelly’s article on the Idaho Statesmen:
When Kacey Montgomery and Shannon Lincoln, owners of Juniper on 8th Street, were handed the keys to the building back in 2016, they felt that the name Pizzeria Sazio had a good ring to it. The goal for their new venture was to continue the tradition of a neighborhood pizza joint, only put a Mediterranean spin on the Neapolitan-inspired pizzas and other menu items.
Well, after doing business under that name since January, the married couple got slapped with an injunction by an East Coast restaurant named Sazio. It stated that they could no longer use the name without paying a hefty licensing fee; the owner of that Italian eatery in South Florida had long ago trademarked the name.
“He is claiming that we are harming his business because people keep calling his restaurant in Florida and ordering pizzas to go in Boise,” Montgomery said.
This trademark snafu harkens back to a few years ago, when the Gone Rogue Pub in BoDo was threatened with a similar lawsuit by the Rogue brewing empire in Oregon. So it became the Double Tap Pub.
Anyway, Montgomery and Lincoln decided that instead of paying some astronomical fee, it would be easier to change the name. But they were concerned that another name change at this spot would lead to much confusion.
“Soon people will drive by and see Red Bench Pizza outside the business and assume another pizza joint has bit the dust in this location,” Montgomery said. “That is not the case.”
The name Red Bench Pizza is a shout-out to the neighborhood, and the “red” part of the equation relates to the tangy tomato-based sauce that gets smeared on some of the pizzas they serve. While not much will change in terms of their original mission, Red Bench Pizza is decidedly more casual and not so Italian-centric in its approach.
To be honest I had no idea of its storied past, but I’m glad they figured it out, because I wouldn’t have been able to absolutely ‘wreck’ their signature pizza – The Diana Ross, the way I did this afternoon!
The ‘Diana Ross’ is apparently one of Red Bench Pizza’s premier pies and it lived up to it’s namesake. Thin crust, and flavorful toppings made it easy (maybe even TOO EASY) for yours truly to take down 6 slices all by myself. They weren’t huge slices and the thin crust made for a light-weight pizza anyways. I personally like thin crust a bit more crispier than Red Bench made theirs but that’s just a personal preference. The pizza was delish nevertheless!
So if you’re looking for something different from the run-of-the-mill pizza joints, I would encourage you to try out Red Bench Pizza. Support our local pizza businesses and enjoy the expertise that has gone into making a wonderful pie!