One of Austin’s favorite pizzerias is on the rise. Local love Via 313, the big cheese in Detroit-style pizza for a good decade now, is expanding nationally, adding more Texas locations — including two in San Antonio — and moving for the first time out of the Lone Star State.
Thanks in part to new dough from restaurant investment biz Savory Fund, Via — which currently operates three brick-and-mortar pizzerias, along with its two pizza trailers — will more than double in size this year, opening six new locations by the end of 2021.
Slicing into unchartered territory, Via, founded in Austin in 2011 by brothers and Detroit natives Brandon and Zane Hunt, will open three locations in Utah this year in the towns of Orem, Lehi, and Murray (all located between Salt Lake City and Provo). And the brothers plan to announce even more new out-of-state locations soon.
Additionally, the pizza chain plans to grow its local reach, opening a pizzeria at 2111 N. IH-35 in Round Rock (in the same building as other local fave Tumble 22) and another location at 1335 E. Whitestone Blvd. in Cedar Park. Brandon Hunt tells CultureMap both of those locations should be slinging the brand’s signature square pies by the fourth quarter of 2021.
And Via will move into the San Antonio market this year, opening two pizzerias: one at 2600 Broadway St. on the Near East Side, and one at 8435 Wurzbach Rd.
“My brother and I started Via 313 10 years ago because we wanted to share the style of pizza we grew up eating and loved, Detroit-style pizza, with the world,” says co-founder Zane Hunt. “After sharing our passion for high-quality hospitality and pizza with the people of Austin, we are beyond excited to bring what we do to Orem, Lehi, and Murray, Utah, as well as Round Rock, Cedar Park, and San Antonio, Texas. Austin has shown us that the masses are ready and eager for a unique and tasty pizza experience.”
While Via’s Austin support has never waned, coming off a pandemic year that has shuttered many an Austin eatery with news of a widespread expansion puts Via squarely in position to lead the charge for Detroit-style pizza on the national scene.
That’s good timing, especially, as the Hunt brothers note, that the thick, sauce-topped pies are experiencing a popularity surge, according to market research firm Datassential. And with Via being one recipient of Savory Fund’s $100 million inaugural fund last October, the Austin company is topping the list of eateries stirring up Detroit-style pizza mania across the U.S.
“It is one of the most exciting times in the pizza industry. Over the past decade, there has been a lot of disruption with fast-casual pizza concepts and low-cost pizza options. None have been more interesting, nostalgic, and quality-driven as Via 313,” says Andrew K. Smith, managing director of Savory Fund. “Detroit-style pizza is one of the best-kept secrets, and we can’t wait to bring it to more communities in Texas, Utah, and additional states that will be announced soon.”
As for why Utah benefits as the first state where Via will expand outside of Texas, it doesn’t hurt that Savory Fund’s parent company, Mercato Partners, is based there, located within minutes of where the new pizzerias will be established.
For the Hunt brothers’ part, the expansion, though just a first step in world pizza domination, enables the Detroit natives to share their beloved pizza with the masses.
“I’m super excited to bring the Via 313 pizza experience to new neighborhoods across the country,” Brandon Hunt says. “The world wants and needs a better pizza experience, and we are here to provide that.”