Neapolitan pizza restaurant, laguna beachIt’s been a long, slow summer since the sale of favorite South Laguna Beach coffee house Cafe Vienna to the NEApolitan owners. When, oh when, was this place going to actually open?

As the months crawled by, all but the owner David Mainiero, Jr., and Chef Frank Deloach maintained faith. But, at last, and finally at the end of October, we began to see pre-opening parties and “test runs.” Finally open to the public the first weekend of November, NEApolitan has been enjoying a steady audience from Day One.

And what an interesting change it is! Cafe Vienna’s homey Euro-walls have given way to sleek, stainless steel backdrops with splashes of color in modern art and extensive wine displays. The pizza menu is relatively short but robust in fresh and natural ingredients, and all loaded on a super crisp crust. Salads were not necessarily memorable, and  serving staff could use some polishing, but we’ll be checking back in a couple months for a progress report.

Per longtime Laguna Beach resident and GM Phil McCullen, the restaurant is pleased that it opened in Laguna’s winter months. “This helps us really tie into the locals first, and that’s where it all matters. We want to provide the best level of service to our locals first – when we have that accomplished, we don’t have to be so concerned with the summer months. This is about providing a Laguna Beach home to Laguna Beach residents.”

Well said, my friend.

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