Deep Ellum Dallas’ Italian pizzeria restaurant closes after 18 years
A long-standing pizzeria in Deep Ellum has closed: Mama Mias Italianwhich held a court in Far East Deep Ellum at 2935 Elm St. closed Sunday after 18 years.
Owner Anselmo Manzanares announced the closure with a note on the restaurant’s Facebook page, blaming the pandemic in part.
“After 18 years in business, we feel it is in our interest to close,” he said. “The last few years have been difficult to say the least, but it made our decision much easier.”
Mama Mias opened in 2004 at a time when Deep Ellum was near its low point in terms of activity, long before the neighborhood became the juggernaut it is today, and also long before any no other pizzeria has opened in the neighborhood. (Cane Rosso only opened in 2011.)
Deep Ellum had a real pizza explosion in the mid-2010s, with half a dozen pizzerias opening around that time. The only survivors of that era are Cane Rosso and Serious Pizza, which opened right next to Mama Mias in 2016.
Mama Mias’ location at the corner of Walton Street was outside the center of the Deep Ellum action, across Malcolm X Boulevard, but served residents who lived in nearby lofts such as Deep Ellum Lofts , as well as the important Baylor medical community.
In addition to pizza, Mama Mias also served sub sandwiches, stromboli and calzone, and pastas such as spaghetti and meatballs and blackened chicken pasta. The place was a bit of a dive, the service wasn’t particularly good, and the pizza was mostly just ok. But they kept long hours and became part of the community, donating to schools and the like.
Like most restaurants, Mama Mias was heavily impacted by the pandemic and subsequently struggled to attract enough staff.
But Anselmo’s wife, Marisol, said they were also tired and wanted to spend more time with their family. She called it “a bittersweet moment.”
The de Manzanares family owns the property and will rent the space to interested tenants. Meanwhile, Anselmo said they might do the occasional pop-up and thanked customers, as well as “the employees who have stuck with us through the ups and downs of this roller coaster of a business.” .