Vegan pizzeria Boxcar Pizza is set to open in Portland, OR this summer. Founded by Odie O’Connor, who runs vegan food cart Baby Blue Pizza, the Boxcar Pizza concept came to life after O’Connor was forced to close his food cart for one month earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, he experimented with different pizza styles, such as Detroit, Chicago, and New York, at home, and ultimately fell in love with making Detroit-style pizza.
Boxcar Pizza will operate within Portland food hall The Zipper and specialize in Detroit-style pizza—a thick, square pan pizza topped with coconut oil-based vegan cheese and house-made vegan meats. O’Connor plans to offer a variety of menu items, including traditional pizza combinations, such as pepperoni and cheese, and specials such as Nashville hot chicken pizza. He also plans to offer gluten-free pizza options. “We’ll try to keep things interesting but also have things for people who aren’t looking to get too adventurous,” O’Connor told media outlet The Oregonian. The new pizzeria can accommodate approximately 100 people, but with current social distancing measures in place, it will seat around 40.