On the final episode of Pizza Party, Talia Ralph is joined by pizza pioneer and NYC legend, Two Boots Pizza Owner Phil Hartman. He tells the story of how he quit his job as a screenwriter to open The Great Jones Cafe in 1982, which would eventually lead to the opening of the first Two Boots Pizza location in 1987. Hear how Phil and the team at Two Boots has expanded the business over the years and grown the brand into a national cultural icon. This program was brought to you by The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.




Photo: Daniel Krieger

“The great thing about Two Boots back then is you’d have Ukrainian grandmothers at one table and punks with mohawks at the next table and everybody was hanging together and eating Cajun Pizza.” [05:00]


“We’re film people, so movies are part of everything we do at Two Boots.” [08:00]


“The arts community is what’s nourished Two Boots from the beginning. We wouldn’t exist without the East Village arts community.” [09:00]


“I’m a slice joint guy. I love getting a slice and eating it while I walk down the street. To me – that’s New York pizza.” [10:00]


“We hate the word ‘chain’. We do want to grow and people are constantly asking us to come to their communities. It’s been an interesting process to try to grow and make every branch unique and stay indigenous to every community we come to. Every store is handmade – there’s no cookie cutter approach.” [22:00]


–Phil Hartman on Pizza Party