Pie Society

 

Pie Society’s menu includes 10 signature pizzas and a pie of the day, which is chosen by the staff. Pie Society’s menu includes 10 signature pizzas and a pie of the day, which is chosen by the staff.[/caption]

The Katz brothers have built two thriving businesses by addressing gaps in San Marcos' dining and nightlife scenes. Dos Gatos Kolaches added what the brothers saw as a much-needed alternative to the city's breakfast scene, which is mostly dominated by tacos. Zelick's Icehouse added a low-key social bar to the city's nightlife offerings.

For their newest business, the brothers, along with business partner Benji Ackerman, are looking to improve on one of San Marcos' staples.

Pie Society opened at 700 N. LBJ Drive, San Marcos, in June. The location formerly housed Zen's Pizza, a San Marcos staple for many years. Chase Katz said he and his brother Seth pounced on the location when the owner of Zen's announced plans to close his restaurant in 2013.

"When he closed the doors it was like, 'OK let's try to blow that thing up,'" Chase said.

Pie Society serves New York-style pizzas as well as subs, salads, craft beer and other drinks.

The restaurant has 10 signature pies on its menu, including the Balance of Power, which features fresh spinach, spicy sausage and Texas honey. Kitchen staffers also create a "pie of the day" each day. Most large pizzas cost $20-$24.

"There is a completely different distinction between our pizza and someone else's pizza," Chase said. "The biggest one is quality."

Ackerman, who also manages Zelick's Icehouse, said the trio believes its focus on quality ingredients sets it apart from other pizza restaurants in the area.

Chase said Pie Society keeps its ingredients on a rack at the back of the restaurant, in plain view of the dining area. The decision to display the ingredients in public view is a way of saying, "We're not hiding anything," he said.

The handmade, high-quality mantra the partners stuck to for the pizzeria carried over to the Social Parlor, which Seth described as a "business within a business." Behind a heavy wooden door at the back of the restaurant is a cocktail lounge that would not look out of place in an episode of "Mad Men." Wood furnishings sit under dim lamp light, and bartenders craft classic cocktails such as Manhattans, Old Fashioneds and Aviations.

"We're trying to stick mainly to true classics," Seth said. "We're trying to expose people to something that hasn't really been [in San Marcos]."

The brothers are in the planning stages for their fourth concept, to be built on property they own behind Zelick's near the intersection of North and Hutchison streets.

"Before we opened the kolache bakery we'd never baked kolaches," Chase said. "Before we opened the bar we'd never tended the bar or worked in a bar. Before we opened the pizzeria we had never made a pizza. We pretty much just did it knowing that we wanted to do the best we can."