Smash Pizza opens brick-and-mortar in Bettendorf

Published: Nov. 13, 2022 at 11:08 PM CST
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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - The Quad Cities’ newest pizza joint, is already seeing some high demand after opening its doors Wednesday.

Smash Pizza went from a mobile food truck to starting a brick-and-mortar location, a process years in the making for owner and chef Brian Olsen.

“The food truck was because it was taking so long to get this done,” Olsen said. “I started planning this almost two years ago before we actually got the doors open. We pulled the trigger on the equipment before everything opened back up.”

The restaurateur took a gamble, leaving his old job right before the pandemic hit. It would force him to be creative when getting work while most restaurants were shut down.

Olsen said that risk allowed his dream to become a reality.

“It’s a lot of hours. It’s a lot of stress, but there’s also a ton of excitement behind it,” Olsen said. “I love what I do. There’s this thrill of doing it every single day. My staff is fantastic.”

Now with the doors open, Smash offers all things dough, like Sicilian and New York-style pizzas, bread loaves for retail sale, focaccia and more.

“The backbone of our restaurant is dough, it is bread,” Olsen said. “You have to be a whole lot of obsessive to really make those things work well and especially in a restaurant environment.”

Olsen studies everything from the percent of yeast and temperature of the dough, to the amount of time it needs to ferment.

Toppings like the sausage are ground in-house, leading to a pie Olsen is very proud to craft.

“Look at it like Brooklyn, went to Naples for the summer and then came back and brought back some of those influences,” Olsen said. “We use really good olive oil. We use this super fragrant Mediterranean oregano that has like nuances of like mint and lemon.”

Tables have already been filling up in the few days Smash Pizza has been open. Olsen said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“More than anything, [I’m] just super excited to give this to the community,” Olsen said. “I hope that the community is happy with it.”

Smash Pizza is located at 3403 Devils Glen Road in Bettendorf. Hours and a menu can be viewed on the restaurant’s Facebook page.