Bethany Clough

Tower District’s new side-by-side pizza place and bar are finally open

Mama Mia Pizzeria’s new location in the Tower District includes an express menu for people who want a quick meal. The original location at Palm and Bullard avenues will remain open.
Mama Mia Pizzeria’s new location in the Tower District includes an express menu for people who want a quick meal. The original location at Palm and Bullard avenues will remain open. bclough@fresnobee.com

After more than a year of anticipation, the Tower District location of Mama Mia Pizzeria and neighboring business Lucy’s Lounge are open.

Though the signs for the businesses – at 737 E. Olive Ave. and 733 E. Olive, respectively – have been up for months, they opened for the first time Friday.

The two businesses share space in the former Score Sports Cafe & Lounge.

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Lucy’s Lounge, which shares space with Mama Mia’s second location, has a full bar and jazz on the weekends. The bar is owned by Bobby Salazar, whose taqueria of the same name is nearby. Lucy’s is named after Salazar’s wife. Bethany Clough bclough@fresnobee.com

Customers can enter from either door and both businesses have patios out front. They are two separate companies though, so customers must pay for food on one side and drinks on the other.

On the left is Lucy’s Lounge, a bar run by Bobby Salazar, who owns the taqueria of the same name two doors down.

Lucy’s (named after Salazar’s wife Lucy Ruiz) has a full bar. The cocktail menu includes a lemon-basil martini and a Stockholm Royale. There are also seasonal drinks like a sparkling apple pie cocktail made with cinnamon Schnapps and apple cider, with sugar and cinnamon on the rim.

Beer and wine by the bottle or the glass is also available.

Tower just seems like a good fit for us.

Michael Anthony Di Nuzzo

Lucy’s has that dark feel that makes you pause a moment after walking through the door to let your eyes adjust. The chairs are cushy and leather. The bar, including where you set your drink, is lit from beneath in orange- and yellow-colored lights.

Miles Davis is painted on the wall. Jazz music plays and Lucy’s will host live jazz on weekends.

“This is a totally different atmosphere than (the taqueria),” Salazar said.

He wants Lucy’s to have the laid-back feel of Landmark, which is closed for remodeling, and Livingstone’s, which is still rebuilding, he said.

“Hopefully we can fill that void,” he said.

Mama Mia

Mama Mia is a second location for the 50-year-old business at Palm and Bullard avenues.

Open for lunch and dinner, Mama Mia will be open late on weekends.

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Mama Mia Pizzeria’s new location in the Tower District includes an express menu for people who want a quick meal. The deep-fried calzone is a popular favorite. Bethany Clough bclough@fresnobee.com

An express menu features quick favorites for people seeking lunch during the workday or whenever. It includes slices of pizza for $3.95 each, a meatball sandwich and several other dishes.

The deep-fried calzone, a popular seller at the original restaurant for years, is also on the express menu for $11.95. It can be baked instead of fried upon request.

“They’re the size of a football, practically,” said Michael Anthony Di Nuzzo, part of the family that owns the restaurants.

The new Mama Mia is slowly rolling out the same menu it has at the original location. The new place does not deliver, but nearby customers can get pizza delivered from the original location.

The Palm and Bullard restaurant will remain open. The children of founder Mike Di Nuzzo – Michael Anthony, Lorenzo and Gianna – are running the Tower District location.

Both businesses open at 11 a.m., with Lucy’s open until 1:30 a.m. every night. Mama Mia is open until 9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and until about 1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

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