A new restaurant in Bluffton has its answer to the New York-style vs. Chicago-style pizza debate: neither.
Black Balsam & Blue Pies and Brews, which opened Dec. 2, believes New Jersey-style pizza — thin crust with tomato sauce on top and mozzarella, olive oil and aged pecorino Romano cheese — beats them both.
Hillary Lovell and her longtime partner, Jeremy MacNeally, decided to open the restaurant after years of making New Jersey pies as a hobby when they had no other way of finding them.
“We just started perfecting with it and playing with it,” Lovell said. “And yeah, we kind of became known as the pizza people amongst our friends.”
The name of their restaurant, Black Balsam & Blue, comes from Black Balsam Nob, a trail Lovell said she and MacNeally would hike in Asheville, N.C., with their dog, Blue.
“We have several aspects of mountain themes in our restaurant, you know, our paintings and part of one of our logos, the mountain theme with the glacial pass,” she said. “And it’s really just something that we enjoyed doing as a hobby.”
The restaurant is at 1534 Fording Island Road and has happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, featuring special drinks, local beers from South Carolina and Georgia, and small plates each week, according to Lovell. She said appetizers and small plates start at $6, and some specialty pizzas range up to $31. The pizzas are made with local ingredients. The restaurant currently doesn’t offer delivery, but pies are available for pickup.
“This is something that we love to do. It’s been a dream of ours for a while,” Lovell said.