It’s not often that a pizza shop’s departure from Baltimore City to Towson creates media buzz and a public outcry. But when talk of Iggies (818 N. Calvert St.) planned move from Mount Vernon to the Riderwood Station shopping center leaked, a bit of an uproar ensued.
Here’s the breaking news: Iggies tweeted yesterday that they’re staying put. Peter Wood, who runs the 65-seat BYOB restaurant with wife Lisa Henkman, told Baltimore today that a zoning decision — not enough parking spaces at the shopping center (intersection of Bellona Avenue and W. Joppa Road) — as well as the local media and customer reaction drove the couple to rethink the relocation.
Online reviews have described the restaurant as “laid-back” and “oddball but endearing.” Iggies’ secret, though, isn’t just a vibe. It makes pizza that doesn’t sink to the lowest common denominator, fast and cheap; rather it goes in for fresh, high-quality ingredients.
City Paper “Mr. Wrong” columnist Joe MacLeod surely spoke for a lot of downtown residents in his recent piece, “Bitter Pizza to Swallow,” when the relocation appeared to be a done deal. Iggies was picked as Baltimore's best pizza in Zagat's first-ever national pizza survey last month.
“We could’ve asked for a variance, but you have no idea how these things will go,” Wood said. As far as the customer and media reaction, “It caught us completely by surprise,” he added. “We’d thought, ‘We’re only moving nine miles, people will come.’”
Instead, customers kept telling the couple, “how much they were going to miss us.”