OMAHA – After 22 years of serving its signature pies to pizza lovers across the metro, the Pizza Shoppe Collective in downtown Benson will close its doors for the final time Saturday, March 11.
Owner/operator Amy Ryan is closing the neighborhood restaurant to devote full time to her new role as executive director of the Benson Theatre. The former vaudeville venue, located at 6054 Maple Street, will serve as a versatile community space for educational workshops during the day and a wide range of arts entertainment at night. A capital campaign is under way to raise funds for its renovation. To date, more than 55 community partners have signed on to use the Benson Theatre once it opens.
“I can’t begin to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported The Pizza Shoppe over the years,” Ryan said. “Thank you for allowing me to be part of your work days, birthdays, anniversaries, first dates, weddings and celebrations of life in all forms. Many of you have jumped in to do dishes, stay with me until close to make sure I got out the door safely and truly make The Pizza Shoppe your home away from home. Your support has created jobs for many, boosted the vitality of our neighborhood and given me a lifetime of memories that are jam-packed in my grateful heart.”
The popular Benson hangout won’t be empty for long. Local restaurateurs David and Brenda Losole will be bringing a new menu and their legendary twist on South Omaha Italian to 6056 Maple Street. Virtuoso Pizzeria is set to open in April.
Losole will be stepping away from his family’s restaurant, Lo Sole Mio, where he served as executive chef in order to purse his passion for pizza. He is the only certified Pizzaioli in the State of Nebraska to graduate from Tony Gemingnani’s International School of Pizza.