In 1935, a post-Prohibition tavern named Colony Grill opened in an Irish immigrant neighborhood in Stamford, Connecticut. Since then, Colony has become famous for what is now its only menu offering: a one-of-a-kind, thin-crust pizza that is best served with the signature “hot oil” topping.
We know what you are thinking…Irish pizza? Grill?
The original owners of Colony were indeed Irish-Americans, but they employed some Italian and Eastern European chefs during the Great Depression. These men proudly wanted bar patrons to try the pizza recipes from their homelands, but needed to figure out how to fit a pizza tray on the narrow Colony bar top. The solution: the “bar pie”…extremely thin crust, smaller in diameter than a traditional pizza, and not too much cheese or sauce so that slices can be easily managed with one hand, fittingly leaving the other hand free to hold a glass.
The local Irish crowd – and anyone else who visited Colony – seemingly could not get enough of this unique pizza, which was made even more appealing when drizzled with a spicy, full-of-flavor, pepper-infused creation simply called “hot oil.”
Eventually, across the decades, the hot oil bar pie became so popular that all the other Colony menu items faded away, as did the need for a grill. But the name Colony Grill remains as a link to our heritage.
Including Norwalk, Colony Grill has four “grill-less” locations in Connecticut along with Stamford, Fairfield and Milford.
Chris Drury, Paul Coniglio, Cody Lee, and Ken Martin co-own and operate Colony Grill Development, LLC. The four Connecticut natives played baseball together as youngsters on the 1989 Little League World Championship team from Trumbull that defeated Taiwan on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
In 2015, Colony was named one of the “Top 101 Pizzas in America” by TripAdvisor and has recently been featured in such publications as Playboy, Connecticut Magazine, Gourmet, Pizza Today, and Roadfood: The Coast-to-Coast Guide to America’s Best Local Eateries.
Colony Grill restaurants are open seven days a week, serving pizza and drinks from 11:30am until late closing.
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