Colony Grill, A Popular New England Hot Oil Pizza Spot, is Coming to MoCo

by MCS Staff

Colony Grill, a popular Connecticut Pizza restaurant offering “bar pies”, is expanding into Maryland with its upcoming location at Cabin John Village in Potomac. Just under two years ago, the New England-style hot oil bar pizza spot opened a nearby location in Arlington (2800 Clarendon Blvd). We are told the menu is simple- Drinks on one side and pizza/toppings on the other. Pizzas range from $10.50 to $13.50, according to the Arlington location’s menu.

According to a Store Reporter report, Colony Grill will have:

indoor seating in the former liquor store space and outdoor tables spilling onto the newly created plaza. The restaurant will have a full bar, and it will stay open well past midnight. “We are all about pizza and drinks,” co-owner Ken Martin tells us. “If you want salad, we have a salad pizza. If you want breakfast, we have a breakfast pizza. This is a place to go watch the game with your friends or meet your family. It’s very simple and sort of old-fashioned.”

The Daily meal, a national food and drinks website, named Colony Grill one of ‘America’s 56 Greatest Old-School Pizzerias’. The pizza is described as a one-of-a-kind, thin-crust pizza that is best served with the signature “hot oil” topping (made with Serrano peppers). Additional toppings for the personal-sized pizzas include pepperoni, sausage, “stingers”, sweet peppers, mushrooms, meatballs, onions, anchovies, bacon, black olives, and cherry peppers. Additional information about Colony Grill below:

In 1935, a post-Prohibition tavern named Colony Grill opened in an Irish immigrant neighborhood in Stamford, Connecticut. Since then, Colony has become famous for what is now its only menu offering: a one-of-a-kind, thin-crust pizza that is best served with the signature “hot oil” topping.We know what you are thinking…Irish pizza? Grill? The local Irish crowd – and anyone else who visited Colony – seemingly could not get enough of this unique pizza, which was made even more appealing when drizzled with a spicy, full-of-flavor, pepper-infused creation simply called: hot oil.

The original owners of Colony were indeed Irish-Americans, but they employed some Italian and Eastern European chefs during the Great Depression. These men proudly wanted bar patrons to try the pizza recipes from their homelands, in addition to other menu items, but needed to figure out how to fit a pizza tray on the narrow Colony bar top.

The solution: the “bar pie”…extremely thin crust, smaller in diameter than a traditional pizza, and not too much cheese or sauce so that slices can be easily managed with one hand, fittingly leaving the other hand free to hold a glass. Eventually, across the decades, the hot oil bar pie became so popular that all the other Colony menu items faded away, as did the need for a grill. But the name Colony Grill remains as a link to our heritage. Today, Colony Grill has multiple “grill-less” locations across Connecticut, New York, Virginia, and Florida.”

Featured photo courtesy of @ColonyGrill on Instagram.


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