Toss Pizzeria brings Chicago vibe to the Austin area

From left, Scott Leehner, Toss Pizzeria general manager for the Bee Cave location; Trinidad Ramirez, kitchen manager for the Bee Cave location; and Justin DeLaCruz, co-owner, stand in front of the restaurant's bar. 
Photos by Brian Rash
From left, Scott Leehner, Toss Pizzeria general manager for the Bee Cave location; Trinidad Ramirez, kitchen manager for the Bee Cave location; and Justin DeLaCruz, co-owner, stand in front of the restaurant's bar. Photos by Brian Rash

From left, Scott Leehner, Toss Pizzeria general manager for the Bee Cave location; Trinidad Ramirez, kitchen manager for the Bee Cave location; and Justin DeLaCruz, co-owner, stand in front of the restaurant's bar. Photos by Brian Rash

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The full bar at the Toss Pizzeria Bee Cave location features several beer options on draft. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
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One of Toss Pizzeria's top sellers is the classic pepperoni. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
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Toss Pizzeria Kitchen Manager Trinidad Ramirez twirls a large, 20-inch dough into the air. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The Texas BBQ Brisket pizza is popular at Toss.
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Toss Pizzeria Kitchen Manager Trinidad Ramirez twirls a large, 20-inch dough into the air.
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The Toss Pizzeria Bee Cave location has ample patio space.
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The Pulled Pork Carbonara pizza is one of Toss' more exotic menu items.
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The Toss Pizzeria Bee Cave location features a kids' play area.
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Three popular drinks available at Toss' full bar are, from left, the Old Fashioned, the Watermelon Press and the Frozen Margarita.
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Toss' outdoor area features a ping pong table.
Justin DeLaCruz and his partners John Pennington and Jace Pirtle opened their second Toss Pizzeria location in August 2019 in Bee Cave.

The establishment’s first location, on South First Street in Austin, has been a popular eatery since it opened more than three years ago.

DeLaCruz said he had wanted to create a restaurant-and-bar type of establishment for a long time, and it was a trip to Chicago about a decade ago that helped inspire the Toss brand as it exists today.

“Just going to some of the pizza shops [in Chicago] and seeing the vibe of them—I just thought we were kind of missing something like that in Austin at the time,” DeLaCruz said.

DeLaCruz, Pirtle and Pennington started brainstorming, scouting locations and fundraising, and by summer 2016, the first Toss location was born.

Its location on Bee Caves Road is multifaceted and features, among other amenities, a play area for children, a ping pong table, an expansive outdoor patio and a full bar.

DeLaCruz said he is planning by early 2020 to expand the Bee Cave location’s hours to be open for lunch on weekdays and not just on weekends.

While it was the vibe of the Chicago pizza joints that inspired Toss, DeLaCruz points out the pizza is not the same as Chicago’s signature deep dish pie style.

The pepperoni is the most popular pizza, but DeLaCruz said the Texas BBQ Brisket and the Pulled Pork Carbonara pizzas are also big sellers.

Beyond the pizza, DeLaCruz said the frozen margaritas at Toss are popular at the bar, as are the Old Fashioned and the Watermelon Press, made with Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

The Bee Cave location is still brand new, and DeLaCruz said he and his team are happy to be in the area.

“Word-of-mouth is very strong out here,” he said. “We have a lot of repeat customers, which is one of the biggest compliments, when people come back over and over.”

11905 Bee Caves Road, Bee Cave

512-502-5773 | www.tosspizzeria.com
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 5-9 p.m., Fri. 5-10 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
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By Brian Rash

Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


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