PIZZA SQUABBLE SETTLED: Two local pizzerias have settled a beef over pizzaiolos. Stephen Ferruzza, owner of Al Forno Ferruzza on Northeast Alberta Street, was upset when some of his employees were contacted about working for the new Oro Di Napoli on North Williams Avenue. Oro Di Napoli uses imported ingredients to make Napoli-style pies. The shopâs oven has been manned by an Italian guest chef, who is about to move back home, leaving the shop in need of a new pizzaiolo. Ferruzza, who says several of his long-tenured staffers were approached, responded by asking his lawyer to tell Oro Di Napoli owner William Kim to cease and desist. âHe canât just come over here and try to steal my employees,â Ferruzza says. âHe was literally texting my employees while they were working, and I was thinking, âMan, this guyâs got some gumption.ââ Kim says the matter was a misunderstanding and he has no intention of taking any of Ferruzzaâs employees, adding that their skills wouldnât translate anyway. âOur pizza is so differentâwe donât even toss the pizzas, we kneed them on a marble table,â Kim says. âI need local people to be trained, but I donât want any more confusion with my neighborhood. I donât have any intention to get his current employees.â
SUCK IT, STARBUCKLAND: Itâs always a cheap thrill when Portland beats Seattle, so weâre pleased to report that weâre still better at making coffee. Portland dominated last yearâs Northwest Regional Barista Competition in Tacoma, but with this yearâs battle actually taking place in the birthplace of the Venti Caramel Frappuccino last weekend, would Seattle finally serve up a steaming cup of victory? No. For the second year in a row, the competition was won by Portland barista Devin Chapman of Coava Coffee Roasters. Second place went to Seattle barista Cole McBride, and Collin Schneider of Portlandâs Sterling Coffee Roasters was third.
BEE QUEEN: Mayor Charlie Hales lost out in a celebrity spelling bee this week to eventual champion Zia McCabe, keyboardist for the Dandy Warhols. The fundraiser pulled in $250,000 for Schoolhouse Supplies, which provides free classroom equipment to Portland teachers. To Halesâ credit, he was indeed the last man standing, but all four women in the bee fared better than the six men. McCabeâs winning word? Gnathonic, which means âtoadying, fawning.â Charlieâs ouster? Fusillade. Which is to say, a battery of insults.
THE CRAFT: It was a busy week for craft-alcohol OLCC applications in Portland. First, it appears weâre getting yet another urban winery: Chateau Bogrumpus filed for a liquor license at 2034 NW 27th Ave. Reverend Natâs Hard Cider is pulling up stakes in Woodlawn and moving just north of the Leftbank building near the Broadway Bridge, at 1805 NE 2nd Ave. Belgian-beer fetishist Bazi Bierbrasserie in Southeast has applied for a license to become a bottle shop as well as a bar.