New York natives serve traditional pies in Texas

Leah and Mark Mirra stand in front of their upcoming location of Lake Travis Pizza in the River Place neighborhood. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Leah and Mark Mirra stand in front of their upcoming location of Lake Travis Pizza in the River Place neighborhood. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Leah and Mark Mirra stand in front of their upcoming location of Lake Travis Pizza in the River Place neighborhood. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
A popular option at Lake Travis Pizza is Max's Mushroom Madness, which is named after the Mirra's son. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Pies are baked in Lake Travis Pizza's revolving brick oven. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Leah and Mark Mirra relocated from Albany, New York, to the Lake Travis region three years ago and immediately loved the area. Still, the Mirras said they could not help but miss one thing about home—New York-style pizza.

When Gatti’s Pizza closed its location in the Four Points area, the husband and wife team decided to make the career shift from property management professionals to pizzeria owners. They signed a lease in February for their new business, Lake Travis Pizza. “This is different for us, but we really have a lot of passion for pizza,” Leah said. “It’s exciting to make people happy, and food feeds the soul.”

Leah headed back to New York to receive training at The Orgininal Goodfellas’ Brick Oven Pizza in Staten Island, which prides itself on being the first brick oven pizzeria in the borough. About a month later the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Austin, and restaurants throughout the area closed their doors. Despite the unforeseen challenge, Mark said he and Leah knew they would persevere.

The eatery operates out of a drive-thru window and can accommodate both pickup and delivery orders within a seven-mile radius, according to Mark, who said the business model was well suited for the new COVID-19 restrictions. Customers quickly took to the Mirras’ homemade pies cooked with fresh ingredients and made from scratch dough, according to Leah. Popular pizzas include the Naples inspired Old World pie and Max’s Mushroom Madness, which is named after their 10-year-old son.

However, patrons began to request dine-in service, something both Mark and Leah said they also wanted to provide the community. To accommodate customers’ requests, the duo is gearing up to open the second Lake Travis Pizza location just down the road in Austin’s River Place neighborhood. The second location will offer plenty of indoor and outdoor seating options, Mark said.

Work is underway at the upcoming location as the Mirras begin to install their two new rotating brick ovens. Barring any changes, Lake Travis Pizza should open by early 2021.

Since the opening of their first location June 4, Mark and Leah said they have been overwhelmed by support from the Lake Travis region. When coronavirus restrictions are loosened, they said they hope to become more involved in community events and activities.“We want to be involved in the community. That’s one of the reasons we call it Lake Travis Pizza,” Leah said.

By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


A new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine could help expand vaccination availability in Travis County, according to local health officials. (Courtesy Pexels)
Johnson & Johnson vaccine could mean additional supply, easier distribution rollout in Travis County

If approved, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be a valuable weapon against the ongoing pandemic, according to local health officials.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

A tree's branches fell on a car in North Austin in the midst of Winter Storm Uri in February. With downed tree limbs and burst water lines causing property damage across Austin, the city has directed additional funds into programs to help some homeowners with emergency home repairs. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Still in crisis mode, Austin City Council initiates recovery following winter storm

With 200 to 400 apartment and condo complexes in Austin still without water, City Council is aiming to direct aid and relieve some of the financial burden felt by residents following the devastating winter storms.

Pet owners are advised to keep their dogs out of Lake Travis. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
UPDATE: Lake Travis water samples show no signs of toxic algae; dog owners still urged to keep pets out of water

An initial test of water samples from Lake Travis showed no signs of cyanotoxin or blue-green algae, a bacteria that is poisonous when consumed by dogs.

Rollingwood City Council met Feb. 24 to discuss how Winter Storm Uri impacted the city's water system. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Rollingwood officials evaluate wastewater contractor following historic winter storm

“We were on the cusp of making a decision as to whether or not to cut off water service to our entire city or, alternatively, overflow our lift stations and flow raw sewage into direct channels into Lady Bird Lake,” Mayor Michael Dyson said during a Feb. 24 City Council meeting.

Jo's Coffee opened a North Austin location in January. (Courtesy Chad Wadsworth)
Jo's Coffee opens in Central Austin; new restaurant coming to Georgetown Square and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.

Photo of a snowy residential street
'Bad data is worse than no data': Austin health officials unsure how storm affected coronavirus spread

Weekly testing and hospitalization averages will not be updated by Austin Public Health until Feb. 27.

Buff City Soap will open March 4. (Courtesy Buff City Soap)
Buff City Soap is set to open in West Lake Hills

A new shop selling soaps and skin care is coming soon to West Lake Hills.

The majority of Travis County Water District No. 10 customers are no longer under a boil-water notice. (Courtesy Pexels)
Boil-water advisory lifted for all Travis County Water District No. 10 customers except those on Toreador Drive

The advisory has been removed for all residents in the district except for those living on Toreador Drive in West Lake Hills, who remain under a boil notice due to a water leak that occurred Feb. 23.

Eanes ISD trustees continued 20201-22 budget planning during a Feb. 23 virtual board meeting. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Eanes ISD trustees leaning toward 2% compensation increase for 2021-22 school year

While an official vote will not be made until May, a majority of Eanes ISD trustees are leaning toward approving a 2% compensation increase for staff in the 2021-22 school year.