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Coronato aims to bring a different slice of pizza to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area


N.C. State Junior Mechanical Engineering major Justin Powers eats pizza at Italian Pizzeria III in Chapel Hill. Italian Pizzeria III is one of 9 pizza restaurants on Franklin Street. 

A new pizza place is coming to Carrboro, and it plans to offer a twist on the authentic Italian slice. Coronato will open at the new South Green retail development in Carrboro. It is set to offer Roman-style pizza, a passion of its owner and head chef Teddy Diggs.   

Coronato distinguishes itself through its dough, which is rolled thin and uses olive oil in addition to traditional ingredients. The addition of the oil makes the restaurant's dough different from Neapolitan dough, giving the crust more weight and flavor and making it more crispy.

“It has a cracker thin crust and is my favorite for eating," Diggs said in an email. "It is light and crisp and fun to eat.”

He was drawn to Italian cuisine while at the Culinary Institute of America and became even more engrossed while working as a chef in Washington, D.C. 

“From that moment forward, I have always cooked to celebrate both my locale and its ingredients, which I believe should be served as purely as possible with comfort and pride,” Diggs said.

He is working to make sure Coronato, whose name translates to "crowned" in Italian and is a tribute to Biggie Smalls, will follow this philosophy.

Diggs said he is looking forward to contributing to the already established food scene in Carrboro. He said the community is growing in population and popularity and is very welcoming to independently-run small businesses. 

Political science major Sydney Suedmeier said she was happy to see a new restaurant enhance the local pizza scene.

“I would love a new pizza place in Carrboro," Suedmeier said. "I’m from Connecticut, so New York pizza is a big thing in the Northeast, and I don’t know if any of the places here are up to New York, but anything close would be nice." 

Franklin Street already has seven pizza restaurants, but Diggs is confident Coronato has a geographic and culinary niche that will make his restaurant stand out against the others in town.

"Modern Roman cuisine is made up of a terrific combination (of) different cultural and historical influences and gastronomical experiences, which allows me to have a lot of creativity and fun in the kitchen," he said in an email.

He said he hopes that Coronato, being outside of downtown, helps it not be in direct competition with the other restaurants on Franklin. Of course, he does hope to draw some people from Chapel Hill with a novel take on pizza. 

“We are aiming for the pizza-loving demographic," he said in an email. "It will be a fun and casual environment, perfect for quick lunches and long pizza feasts alike. We will not have a big bar scene, but of course will offer some great local brews and Italian wines.”

Coronato is set to open in the spring of 2019.


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