It takes confidence to open a new pizza place just a few blocks from local heavyweights Modern Apizza and Da Legna. But Robin Bodak, Doug Coffin and Domenic Giannotti have done it anyway with Next Door Pizza and Bar. This ownership trio is actually a trifecta, bringing a wealth of relevant experience to an eatery that’s both casual and trendy, with pizzas and plates to share, draft beers and “craft cocktails,” familiar flavors and new creations.
13 years ago, when Coffin expanded his catering business into a fleet of mobile wood-fired pizzerias emblazoned with the name Big Green Truck Pizza, it hardly crossed his mind to worry about the competition. “I wasn’t really that intimidated by it,” he says, “in part because I was… doing something that no one else was doing.” The next step of opening a brick-and-mortar place—a business that, as the menu says, “(hopefully) won’t need a tow truck!”—was natural, and Coffin seems as unconcerned as ever about the competition. “You cannot, perhaps, possibly saturate the market for pizza in New Haven,” he says. “Good pizza generates more interest in pizza.”