Amir and Ali Hajimaleki, brothers and co-owners of New American restaurants District Kitchen and Oasthouse Kitchen, are opening a new pizzeria and sandwich shop with New England leanings this month. Shortie’s will be found above the North Shoal Creek location of District Kitchen on 7858 Shoal Creek Boulevard, Building C starting on Wednesday, December 16 for dine-in and takeout services.
The menu, developed by Amir and executive chef MacKenzie Viglianco, focuses on New England Greek-style pizza and grinders (a New England term for heros). The thick pies tend to use tomato sauce with a lot of oregano and lots of cheese. Instead of cooking the pies in pans, Shortie’s is using cast iron skillets (“because in the South, that’s always a better option,” says Amir), as well as Barton Springs Mill flours and Texas olive oil.
Shortie’s pizza options include the Twig & Branch (Texas goat cheese, prosciutto, sour cherry preserves, and chili oil); the Punisher (spicy Italian sausages, pickled cherry peppers, balsamic roasted onions); and the vegan Little Chef. There are build-your-own-topping options, too.
As for the sandwiches, there are both hot and cold grinders made with bread from New Orleans bakery Leidenheimer Baking Co. There’s the Shortie’s Club (turkey breast, Black Forest ham, bacon, and provolone cheese) and the Big Sexy, which features an actual bone-in beef rib.
Non-pizza and sandwich options include meatballs, vegetables, cheese and charcuterie, and desserts from executive pastry chef Dennis Van, including cannolis, tiramisu, and vanilla ice cream. Most of the pies and the sandwiches can be made gluten-free too. Drinks-wise there are beers from Texas and the Northeast, Italian/Greek/Texas wines, and low-alcohol cocktails.
The Hajimalekis had wanted to open a pizzeria and add something more casual to their restaurant offerings. So they decided to take their menu cues from Amir’s fiancé’s hometown of Rockville, Connecticut. The name stems from Ali’s late dog.
Shortie’s is taking over the space that had housed the sole Austin location of Filipino restaurant Be More Pacific, which closed in June (the Houston location remains open). Previously, the address had been home to fast-casual pizzeria Rebel Pizza too.
Shortie’s hours will be from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, and then from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday. Takeout orders can be made in person for now, and the online ordering system is being set up right now.
The Hajimalekis still have a bunch of other projects in the works. They’re in the middle of opening a new seafood restaurant, Keepers, and a second location of Oasthouse in the former brewery/restaurant North by Northwest space on West Slaughter Lane, both of which will open next consecutively. Persian restaurant Roya, which didn’t have a set location, has been delayed but will still happen at some point.