A Black-owned pizzeria shop in Charlotte, North Carolina, has garnered national attention after securing a spot on The New York Times list of best pizza places in the United States.

According to the outlet, Bird Pizzeria was launched in December 2021 as a pop-up shop by owners Kerrel and Nkem Thompson. Kerrel aimed to create New York-style pies reminiscent of those he enjoyed in Cleveland.

The pizzas are distinct from the typical slices patrons might buy at other pizzerias. At Bird, the pies are shareable, feature browned, caramelized crusts, and are available with seasonal toppings like dandelion pesto and local mushrooms, per the Times.

Patrons can also enjoy a variety of other offerings on the menu. Options range from a hearty kale Caesar salad to classic plain and vegan pies, ensuring that there’s something to satisfy a variety of palates at this Charlotte hotspot.


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In a 2022 interview with Q City Metro, Nkem revealed that she and her husband had their first date over pizza and conceived their business idea during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The co-owner also shared how they came up with the name — it’s is inspired by Kerrel’s passion for birds.

“He can name like all of the birds in North America, so it’s kind of like always been a thing with us,” Nkem told Q City Metro.

Since opening their business, the Thompsons’ pizzeria has become a fixture in the Charlotte community. Despite the limited hours of operation, the pizzeria remains a popular destination for local pizza enthusiasts.

The couple will transform Bird into a sit-down restaurant in July, and they are enthusiastic about this next step for their business.

“We prayed about this space,Nkem told The Charlotte Observer.We’re just like,Man, this would be amazing to be able to not have to pick up our stuff and go to a new location.’ … We’re really excited to open our dining room literally as if it was, you know, an extension of our house. … Now we’ll have more room for you to stay a while.”