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Minnesota’s Owner to Offer 'Freedom to Choose' Pizza

Opening new concept restaurant in Island Park.

American Pie will open at this shopping center in Island Park, just over the Long Beach Bridge. (Credit: Joe Kellard)
American Pie will open at this shopping center in Island Park, just over the Long Beach Bridge. (Credit: Joe Kellard)

Tom Corning is delivering a taste of Italy over the Long Beach Bridge.

The owner of Minnesota’s restaurant-bar in the West End, Corning is joining forces with Chris Dolan, owner of Olive Oils in Point Lookout, to open a new concept pizza restaurant in Island Park named American Pie.

“It’s going to be a create-your-own pizza with healthy options,” Corning said of his new venture. “It’s going to operate the same way they make burritos at Chipotle, only with pizza. Our slogan is going to be ‘the freedom to choose.’”

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American Pie will offer gluten-free and whole wheat crusts, salads with chicken or grass-fed skirt steak, and four varieties of meatballs, to name a few options on its menu. “We’ll even have baked homemade pies to finish off our pie concept,” Corning said.

The restaurant will also feature an extensive wine-by-glass program and craft beer.  “We’re really excited about that,” he added.

Corning and Dolan just started to build their new restaurant at a vacancy in King Kullen’s shopping center on Barnum Isle, located immediately over the bridge. They expect to open their doors  for business by spring.

Dolan was Corning’s original partner when they opened Caffe Laguna in 1997. While Minnesota’s sustained five feet of flooding during Hurricane Sandy and was quickly gutted, rebuilt and reopened last February, Caffe Laguna, located directly across the road on West Beech Street, sustained 11 feet of water in the basement. Facing new insurance stipulations, Corning decided not to renew the lease there.

“We just weren’t able to rebuild, because we didn’t get any insurance or assistance,” he said.

However, his chef at Caffe Laguna, Andrew Alotti, signed a lease and is developing a new concept for the storm-damaged restaurant and hopes to rebuild and open by early summer.

“We’re also excited that Andrew is going to open a place at Minnesota’s and help get the West End back up and running,” Corning said.

Eddie January 12, 2014 at 10:33 AM
Tom O what kind of store would you like to see open up?
Bob West January 13, 2014 at 01:13 AM
@ Eddie- just curious about some of the terms used in Patch. What Do you mean by "lifer" in your anser to Larry? I've seen the same term in other posts but don't "get it." Thanx.
Tom O January 13, 2014 at 04:13 PM
@Eddie: 1) a craft beer gastro-pub 2) a place with a solid burger 3) a moderately priced wine bar 4) a vintage arcade with a bar 5) a place with great food that isn't Swingbellys or Sugo, 6) a hookah lounge, 7) a place that feels trendy, 8) a live music venue, 9) an art gallery...anything that truly makes you want to stay in LB, rather than just go by default because you don't want to deal with the $17 RT train ticket or 20 minutes of traffic lights that it takes to get out of here- something that makes people want to come to LB in the off season...take a look around at the stores here...most of the restaurants are mediocre, though the ones that are good are so good- how many pizza shops do we have? How many delis? How many nail salons? How many sports bars? There's not a lot of variety here, and except for the beach, it's starting to resemble any other place on Long Island.
Sandy Man January 14, 2014 at 02:21 PM
Maybe they should do like Pompeii and just build on top of the abandoned houses in the west end

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