With a full decade of business under its belt, the Como Avenue outpost of Football Pizza in Minneapolis has quietly closed its doors.
After developing a cult-like following for what can only be described as a uniquely Minneapolis-Afghani hybrid version of pizza, Crescent Moon Bakery expanded to a Dinkytown-adjacent location in 2009 under a new name appealing to customers who’d only heard of them via reputation of those “football-shaped” delicacies they’d been slinging. From this storefront, Football Pizza continued to serve a variety of doughy, cheesy pies in their signature ovular shape, including a little trough of piquant green goodness for dipping slices. Toppings ranged from gyro meat, chicken, and beef, with eggplant, tomato, onion, and beyond for the veggie-inclined.
Until two months ago, that is, when the Como Avenue location abruptly ceased operation.
All is not lost, though. Only the Como Avenue location of Football Pizza has shut down. Wais Azizi, CEO and owner of Football Pizza, assured all is well at the northeast Minneapolis and Columbia Heights locations of the beloved institution. “Business is good,” he told City Pages. “There was a dispute with the lease at Como—we wanted longer terms than they would give… Our customers had no parking there,” he added with a shrug.
Aziz is looking to the future, despite closing the Como location. He’s proud of the fact that Football Pizza recently secured a federal trademark on its frozen goods, and has an in-house factory, built to scale according to increasing demand.
Back on Como, Thai Cuisine Xpress is set to move in to the former Afghan bakery space. The changeover isn’t yet complete, with half the awnings reading “Football Pizza.” Adorning the windows are enlarged photos of stir-fried vegetables and sauteed noodle dishes, along with pronouncements that they’ll be “Coming soon!” Azizi sees the new Thai tenants as a plus, suggesting he was thankful they were able to move into the storefront.
May Thai Cuisine Xpress benefit from the same good fortune and community adoration as Football Pizza.