Pizzeria Pezzo Brings Italy to White Bear Lake

New coal-fired pizza shop brings a slice of Italy to White Bear Lake.

In Italian, the word “pezzo” means “piece”, which is exactly what you’ll want to enjoy at  Pizzeria Pezzo in White Bear Lake.

The new restaurant is a partnership between owner and executive chef Gary Bougie and the Kowalski family. And these food aficionados are determined to do pizza right, which means offering two vastly different styles in the modern-casual restaurant: a coal-fired, hand-stretched variety that spends three minutes in a scorching 1,000-degree oven, and a Chicago-style deep dish that bakes longer, at a lower temperature.

These styles are a natural fit for Bougie, a St. Paul native who opened Slyce, a coal-fired pizza joint, in Chicago in 2010. When Terri Bennis, vice president of perishables at Kowalski’s Market, caught wind of the concept, the family got behind the idea. “We obviously love the food business, and this is sort of an offshoot of what we do,” says chief operating officer Kris Kowalski.

“The Kowalskis were really excited to see the kind of passion and energy that was going into the restaurant, and were really excited to help me,” says Bougie. So he decided to open up the warm, retro-inspired shop in White Bear Lake in late December. “We felt there was an unmet need for a concept like this in the area,” adds Kowalski.

Bougie is happy to be there. “The town of White Bear Lake just felt like the type of community I wanted to do business in,” he says. “There’s a tremendous amount of locally owned businesses in White Bear Lake, and that’s something I really believe in.”

Pizzeria Pezzo: 2143 Fourth St., White Bear Lake; 651.788.7844.


The entire staff at White Bear Lake Magazine would like to offer heartfelt condolences to the Gary Bougie family and to the staff of Pizzeria Pezzo; we join with members of the entire community who are deeply saddened at the loss of such a wonderful young man.