Elmwood, Pizza Champ • Contemporary, Pizza, Sandwiches, Wings
Pizza Champ, which as a standalone restaurant opened only in January, technically doesn’t qualify for this year’s STL 100. Pizza Champ as a concept, however, launched in summer 2020, when Adam Altnether and Chris Kelling introduced it as the pandemic pivot of their Maplewood restaurant Elmwood, one of 2019’s standout newcomers. I tried the pizza that August and could have guessed the duo had big plans for their pies. Altnether crafts a New York-style pizza with the ideal crust ratio of crispy to airy to chewy, with tang (the dough ferments for 48 hours) and blistered char. Pizza Champ rounds out its menu with chicken sandwiches, salads and wings, the hot Buffalo version of which is serious business. Meanwhile, Elmwood is on hiatus as of early April while Altnether and Kelling focus on Pizza Champ’s debut. As a pizza incubator, Elmwood is emblematic of how restaurateurs have navigated the pandemic. As a showcase for Altnether’s cooking and Kelling’s front-of-house acumen, Elmwood is a restaurant to anticipate anew.
Note: The opening month of Pizza Champ has been corrected.
📍 Where Elmwood, 2704 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood • More info 314-261-4708; elmwoodstl.com • Hours On hiatus
📍 Where Pizza Champ, 2657 Lyle Avenue, Maplewood • More info pizzachampstl.com • Hours 2-8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, noon-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (closed Monday-Tuesday) • Pricing $-$$