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.