Pizzeria Biga to debut second venue, host fundraisers

Events will raise money for Woodward tribute, Stagecrafters

By: Chris Jackett | Royal Oak Review | Published April 18, 2012

 The Woodward tribute inFerndale was put up in 2008. Plans are now in the works to install a tribute tower along Woodward Avenue, near 13 Mile and Crooks in Royal Oak. Pizzeria Bigais hosting a fundraiser to help out the cause.

The Woodward tribute inFerndale was put up in 2008. Plans are now in the works to install a tribute tower along Woodward Avenue, near 13 Mile and Crooks in Royal Oak. Pizzeria Bigais hosting a fundraiser to help out the cause.

Photo courtesy of the Woodward Avenue Action Association

ROYAL OAK — Fans of Southfield’s Pizzeria Biga or Bacco Ristorante will have a new spot to enjoy handmade pizzas and pastas, as owner Luciano Del Signore is opening a Pizzeria Biga location in downtown Royal Oak April 23.

“This one, I decided to make it a little more rounded menu so people can come more than once per week,” Del Signore said. “Royal Oak’s going to have much more sophisticated pasta options on the menu. The menu will have a few more selections on it.”

Although the 3,100-square-foot restaurant on the top two floors of the century-old St. Clair Edison building at 711 S. Main will be smaller than the Southfield location, it will have a larger and more diverse menu complemented by 24 international craft beers on tap, twice as many as Southfield offers.

The new venue above Cloverleaf Fine Wine will house a bistro-style pizzeria that seats 76 people with a first floor featuring a variety of seating options and a pizza bar. There is also a two-level, 25-person outdoor patio. The second floor will be available to rent out for private parties, but also includes diner seating.

“We’re excited about the new location,” Del Signore said. “We like the Royal Oak foot traffic and that there’s a lot of traffic in general. It’s a different type of pizza that this market hasn’t really seen before.”

Pizzeria Biga has established a reputation because of its healthier spin on a family favorite such as pizza.

“The main difference is that Biga is all hand-crafted dough with no use of commercial yeast, sugar or fat of any kind, which is in 99 percent of dough across the nation,” Del Signore said. “All of our toppings are all natural.”

The pizzeria has already been training new employees for the past three weeks at
the Southfield location and will split the new and old employees between the two
venues. The Royal Oak restaurant has created 40 new jobs.

Although Pizzeria Biga won’t be open to the public until next Monday, it is hosting two fundraisers this week.

“We want to support the community,” Del Signore said. “We want to be good supporters in all ways, shapes and forms.”

Stagecrafters will have a Wine, Dine & Dough-nate fundraiser from 5:30-9 p.m. April 18. The $45 ticket includes food and drink, and can be purchased at (248) 541-6430. All proceeds will benefit the Stagecrafters Restroom Renovation Capital Campaign.

Pizzeria Biga will then host the Woodward Avenue Action Association’s Royal Oak
Tribute Benefit from 5:30-9:30 p.m. April 19. That $75 ticket includes a signed limited-edition print of the tribute, designed by Royal Oak artist Kyle Evans, as well as wine and craft beer with strolling hors d’oeuvres.

“This is a way to engage the communities,” said WA3 Executive Director Heather
Carmona, who hopes the event can raise most of the remaining $13,000 needed to
match the grant amount for the $150,000 tribute. “The full amount is going toward
what we need to do.”

Ferndale and Pontiac built tributes in 2008 and 2010, respectively, and WA3 is looking to put Royal Oak’s up in July on Woodward Avenue, between 13 Mile and Crooks roads.

“The city of Ferndale provided the match as a whole. The downside is the community didn’t fully embrace the (process),” Carmona said. “We’re going to release some imagery on Thursday.”

The deadline to purchase tickets was April 17. Call the WA3 at (248) 288-2004 or visit www. woodwardavenue.org for more information.

“We’ll take any contribution for this,” Carmona said of people who cannot attend the fundraiser, noting that even a $20 donation would be recognized.

For more information on Pizzeria Biga, visit pizzeriabiga.com or call (248) 544-
0900; for carryout, call (248) 544-BIGA. The restaurant also is on Facebook, Twitter
@Pizzeria_Biga or on Flickr with a modified spelling of “Pizzaria Biga.”