motor town pizza photo by michelle volansky

First Look: Motor Town Pizza in Brentwood

When Covid restrictions forced Revel Kitchen owners Simon and Angelica Lusky to close their doors to foot traffic, it quickly became an issue of survival: How would they keep their health-conscious business afloat? The solution came with a ghost kitchen pizza biz  … and some rectangular tin pans. 

“By using a pan, we could bake pizza in our existing, traditional ovens,” said Angelica Lusky. “And there was hardly any outlay.”

She and Simon, former head chef for the St. Louis Cardinals, started cranking out the four-sided, Detroit-style pies, and the crowd went (lug) nuts.

On the wheels of that enthusiasm, the Lusky’s have blown out that operation. Motor Town Pizza opened at 8029 Dale Ave. in The Crossing at Richmond Heights in mid-February.

The space, formerly occupied by Vitality Bowls, is cool-looking, motor-themed — sharp as a stripe on a 1960s El Camino. The walls are as red. And yes, the angles of its pies are a crispy 90 degrees.

“The paint picked itself,” Angelica said. “It’s called ‘100 mph.’ That’s kind of how it is around here.” And at that point, a couple of days before opening, she was only talking about kinks, and ironing them out. Considering Revel’s fan base, its finely tuned delivery service and its bright new presence by a major highway, they’re expecting business to be brisk. Who doesn’t love a crusty, cheezy parallelogram with interesting, well-matched ingredients?

The El Dorado, for instance, revs spicy plant-based chorizo with hints of cumin and sweet cuts of pineapple and blistery jalapeno. It’s all the things — crunchy, crusty at its sharp edges with Chihuahua and smoked provolone cheeses. Gluten-free crust and vegan cheese are available on request. Although, here, where the Luskys expect to be catering to a different crowd, those options may be less of a concern.

“This place is the opposite of Revel!” Angelica said. “No one wants that healthy stuff all the time. This is pizza. Everyone loves pizza.” 

And subs. Although Motor Town isn’t allowed to call its subs “subs” because of Firehouse Subs next door. So these are "grinders." Grinder feels more fitting; these big jalopies somehow bring the gym to mind. But, like she said, her other three Revel Kitchens (Kirkwood, Brentwood and Boca Raton, Florida), have “healthy” covered.

Still, there’s plenty of wholesomeness to be had at Motor Town: the salads are bright and fresh. Nuts & Bolts combines greens, walnuts and cranberries with shaved onions and carrots, and a raspberry vinaigrette. The Kale Mobile is a salad of kale, lemon juice and crispy crumbs. The Red Racer is a cheeseless pizza; just marinara, crunchy garlic and shallots. And one of those grinders — the V-Ate — busts with mushrooms, artichokes, roasted peppers, kale and goat cheese. 

But then, it’s back to what seems to be the essence of Motor Town — full-throttle meat-and-cheesiness, all the tastier, of course, for being "square.’"

All pizzas come in two sizes, and can be made round to order. Smoked chicken wings are also on the menu.

Motor Town Pizza has indoor seating for 26, and room on the patio out front for eight. Soon, once some licensing issues are resolved, the Luskys will serve bottles of wine and mostly local beer in cans.

Motor Town Pizza is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 11a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.