&pizza names Erik Bruner-Yang executive chef

July 9, 2019

Chef Erik Bruner-Yang (L) will be the executive chef at &pizza. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts)

Fast-growing &pizza just brought on one of the Washington area’s rising star chefs, Erik Bruner-Yang, to serve as its executive chef.

Bruner-Yang, a James Beard Award finalist, is the chef behind D.C. restaurants Maketto, Brothers and Sisters and Spoken English, which this month was named New Restaurant of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

At &pizza, Bruner-Yang will be in charge of revamping the menu for the first time since the pizza chain was founded.

“Bruner-Yang will put his own spin on the menu, further enhancing &pizza’s offerings,” the company said in a statement.

&pizza announced Tuesday it has also promoted its “chief people officer” Andy Hooper to the newly created job of president and COO. Hooper came to &pizza 18 months ago from Cafe Rio Mexican Grill.

&pizza's 36th location opens July 10 on Wall Street.
&pizza’s 36th location opens July 10 on Wall Street. (&pizza/MatthewGlac)

John Reepmeyer, previously CFO at Roti Mediterranean Grill and vice president of finance at Potbelly Sandwich Works, has also joined &pizza as chief financial officer.

Naming Hooper as COO will free up co-founder and CEO Michael Lastoria to oversee the brand’s aggressive growth plans. &pizza plans to double in size over the next two years, to more than 70 locations, with new locations in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey.

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to push this ever-evolving brand into the future,” Lastoria said. “Developing internal talent and pairing it with top-notch additions will propel our company forward in a way that’s consistent with its personality.”

&pizza opens its 36th location July 10 at 63 Wall St., in lower Manhattan. The chain’s first restaurant opened in 2012 on H Street in Northeast, and its presence has grown throughout the Washington region, as well as in Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Miami.

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