Three locations of Heart Pizza are already planned.
His partner will be Matt Lynch, longtime general manager on all of Camden and partner Katie Poppe's restaurants in Portland. Poppe is not listed as an owner of Heart Pizza in documents filed with the Secretary of State.
According to Lynch, the first location of Heart Pizza will open by Thanksgiving on Gaines Street in the Southwest Waterfront, next door to the new Southwest Waterfront location of Blue Star Donuts.
That location will be quickly followed by a Lloyd Center spot in the new Hassalo on 8th apartment building by the end of the year, near the Lloyd Green Zebra. A West End location on 13th Avenue will follow early next year, where Solestruck shoes used to be.
"We've wanted to do pizza since the second Little Big Burger," says Lynch. "Portland has so so many good restaurants and pizza shops like Ken's Artisan, Neapolitan pizza places. But they're all sit-down. Which for me is not how I eat pizza. We're going to do what we've always been doing, get a big fancy oven, make this artisanal thing and dumb it down."
In this case, dumbing it down means cheap-ish pies and grab-and-go utility—making 10-12-inch personal Neapolitan-style pies and serving them for 10-12 dollars. They'll also serve salads and bottles of wine and beer to go.
"We're talking to local wineries, figuring out what we can do," says Lynch. "We want to serve [wine] at a dollar above cost, make a really good deal so you can have two pizzas and bottle of wine, have a nice night for 30 bucks."
The pizza spots will have a small number of seats—between 5 and 20 at the various locations—but Lynch imagines Heart as more a spot where you can pop in, grab a pizza and eat it at home or on the go.
In a break from Camden's usual fried or flat-top fare, Lynch says he's trying to make the place a bit healthier, with a strong vegetable focus for toppings, in addition to a margherita, slices with "New Yorkish toppings" and a fennel-sausage arugula pie.
In part, the move toward slightly healthier toppings was a personal one for Lynch. "I've been eating hamburger, fried chicken and ramen for the past 10 years," he says.
Lynch also says they're planning to add a charitable component to Heart Pizza, with plans to donate $1 a pie to charities—ideally leading to donations of between $200 and $600 a day per location.