PIZZA CLUB

Detroit-style pizza pop up starting a Savannah scene Want some? Join the club!

In the ongoing effort to stack great food ideas on top of each other here every week, sometimes the job requires a lurk in the shadows. 

Far removed from the brand new fancy buildings or loudest social media megaphones you can find great eats if you know where to look.

This week’s offering takes us to Savannah’s percolating pop-up scene. 

At any given point during the year you can find any number of talented men and women working their craft to your appetite’s benefit. 

Last weekend there was a massive cookie sale, and every month Common Thread brings in a guest chef to work their magic on a Monday night. Those are just two examples.

The one we are sharing this time around is pizza. Yes, a pizza pop up.

click to enlarge INSTAGRAM @PIZZACLUB_SAV
Instagram @pizzaclub_sav

Steve Troxell is a Michigan guy here in Savannah. He’s been here about 4 years. A classic case of needing to get away from snow and falling in love with the Hostess City. We’ve heard that how many times before?

Growing up near Detroit, Steve tells me the options for pizza his whole life were “Round or Square.” 

Those square pies are having a moment in America right now. In Detroit, they are just called ‘square pizzas.’ Outside of the Detroit area, they are known as Detroit-style pizza and they’ve become kind of a thing.

Steve’s are the only real ones you can find in Savannah. And apparently they are really really good. I have to qualify all of that because I can’t say that I’ve tried one. 

His pop ups have never worked with my schedule. But I do know how popular these events have become. Not only do they sell out every single time, but Steve is now getting shout outs from strangers on the street. 

“Hey! It’s the pizza guy!”

So where did all of this come from?

“I’ve always been into cooking.” Steve says. “At some point after moving here I missed Jet’s Pizza (A popular Detroit based pizza shop). So I said, I’m just going to learn how to make it.”

This was during the 2020 shutdown. We were all stuck at home and Steve was busy teaching himself the entire process. 

He learned how to make dough and sauces. He was grinding his own cheese. 

He thought he got pretty good at it, but to his credit he was chasing perfection.

click to enlarge INSTAGRAM @PIZZACLUB_SAV
Instagram @pizzaclub_sav

He also thought it would be cool to do some pop ups. He started with some random pizza offerings for his friends at Over Yonder, a very popular Bar and Grill on Abercorn Street near Victory Drive in Savannah. 

The feedback was positive. Everyone was loving the pies.

They can best be described as something more like a pan pizza from Pizza Hut than a Sicilian style. There is cheese all the way to the edge and it is going to be crispy. Sauce, of course, and then toppings.

“It’s basically a pizza bread with toppings.” Is how Steve puts it. The most popular toppings have been pepperoni of course and BBQ Chicken. “that’s not really a pizza, I suppose.” He says “But it was very well received.”

These pies grew in popularity so quickly that he started the Savannah Pizza Club. 

He built a quick website for menus and orders but otherwise he makes a few dozen whenever he’s in the mood, really. 

There’s no set schedule, there’s no delivery guy. Steve puts out the word that he’s doing 40 or so pies and everyone lines up. 

Shortly thereafter, all of the pizzas are gone and Steve goes home. That’s it.

His first pop up was last September. His next one is Wednesday, May 4. 

Yes, it’s a Star Wars homage. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. Though really the only place to find out about them is via Instagram.

There are no plans to open a shop. There are no plans to expand a popular side hustle. Is Steve making a few bucks? Probably. 

Is that his motivation? Not really. When you consider the time required to make all of these pizzas, hisn time is a significant investment that he’s clearly doing just for fun.

“I like being able to do it whenever I want. Whenever I don’t have much going on in my regular life. I like the slower pace.” He tells me.

The grand irony here is that for as popular as Steve says the internet has made these “Detroit-style” pizzas, he doesn’t think the phenomenon is that wide spread. Although some chains up that way are expanding because of them.

So while it might be a while before these pies go mainstream, you don’t have to wait here in Savannah. 

Well, you do. 

But you don’t if you are following Steve and plan to try his pizzas the next time he’s in the mood to pop up. 

You can find more at pizzaclubsav.com or on Instagram @pizzaclub_sav


About The Author

Jesse Blanco

One of the most recognizable personalities in the Savannah/Hilton Head Island television market, Jesse Blanco is sometimes called "Savannah's Anthony Bourdain." His 'Eat It and Like It' show has become a major regional brand in the foodie world.
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