Speakeasy pizzeria The Wizard of Za opens brick-and-mortar in Clintonville

Erin Edwards
Spencer Saylor of The Wizard of Za

Underground pizzaiolo Spencer Saylor announced the debut of his first restaurant, The Wizard of Za, in a letter posted today on the pizzeria’s website. The new Clintonville restaurant will soon open for carry-out and pick-up, though its address remains hush-hush.

The Youngstown native first launched the Sicilian-style pizza speakeasy out of his home kitchen in January, using Instagram as both the marketing tool and ordering method. As takeout took off during the pandemic, Saylor’s photogenic, focaccia-crust pies quickly skyrocketed in popularity. (The pizzeria’s account, @wizardofza, currently has 18,500 followers.)

For the time being, the new restaurant will only serve customers from the account’s lengthy waitlist. “While we are prioritizing and getting through the existing waitlist first, we anticipate getting through it by the 3rd to 4th week of January and opening for standard open ordering then,” Saylor said via email.

Along with news of the opening, Saylor announced his partnership with Fusian, the Ohio-based fast-casual sushi chain. Founded more than 10 years ago by brothers Zack and Josh Weprin and Stephan Harmon, Fusian has grown to 12 locations in Cincinnati, Toledo, Dayton and Columbus. The new partnership marks Fusian’s first foray beyond its sushi roots, with Wizard of Za becoming a brand under the Fusian umbrella. Saylor says Fusian’s core team members provided consulting and assistance with the restaurant’s buildout.

“Having access to a team that has built more than 14 stores across Ohio and has the templates and existing software in place to make things turnkey for a business owner has been a huge weight off my shoulders,” Saylor says.

Read Alive’s August feature on The Wizard of Za here.