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.’”
Follow Long Beach Patch on Facebook.
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.