April 25, 1987, the inauguration date of Pizzarte, located at Rua Eng. Von Haff, 27, ground floor, in Aveiro, has an interesting curiosity. The day of the Portuguese Revolution, eternally associated with freedom, is also synonymous with freedom for João Castelhano and Jorge Castelhano, two of their owners. In their youth, they worked in their holidays to save some money and, as the adult age approached, they began to dream about the possibility of having a bar in Aveiro. Like so many other young people at that age, they wanted financial independence for a new chapter in their lives, so when they had finished compulsory military service, they reached out to their father in the hopes of getting funding for their idea. It was immediately denied. Their father knew that having a bar required dedication and professionalism, in short, it wasn’t just 'serving coffees'. He agreed with the loan, only if João and Jorge graduated in the respective field and so they both joined the hotel course of the Vidago school in Porto in 1983, where they developed the theoretical component and applied the practical one. Jorge was then two years in boarding regime at the hotel Vidago.
The two brothers returned to Aveiro, full of readiness and enthusiasm, only to see the door barred once more. This time, their father advised experience to be able to create with confidence, the intended establishment. Jorge and João began to realize that they would have to 'hit the road' and so they went, with baggages in hand, to Porto and afterwards Algarve, in order to perceive, in a professional context, what was this complicated animal called restoration . The good news sometimes comes when we least expect them, in this case, in the form of a phone call from their father. From the receiver came an astonishing speech, which made the loan readily available. Jorge and João returned to their native city and their idea of a bar still had the same intensity, because in Aveiro there weren’t really any bars, only cafes like the mythical café Palácio, Convívio and Gato Preto. Of course, their father, being police commissar in Aveiro, anticipated the obvious problems of an establishment whose operation would extend throughout the night. The brothers had to draw from their imagination and come up with a concept (this one, accepted by their father) of a pizzeria with a touch of modernity, but before diving into Pizzarte's creation, it should be mentioned that Jorge, now with years of experience in restoration, perfectly understands the rigidity of his father, who prepared him for a demanding and laborious area.
They got an interesting arrangement of space, so interesting that Jorge even now wonders if customers appreciate the more decor or the pizzas. The name was the subject of much discussion, however, when they arrived at 'Pizzarte', they also reached an immediate consensus. In 1987, pizza was still not seen as 'real food' by a large part of the population. On the other hand, the decoration of any establishment was usually carried out by the owners themselves, with variable results. Jorge and João took therefore risks. The risk of opening a pioneering business in what it set out to achieve and the risk of making a substantial investment in decoration. Sometimes risk pays off. The artistic community of Aveiro immediately loved the concept, filling the house with orders, excitement and occasional exhibitions of sculpture or painting. As Jorge says, 'any mistrust about pizza disappears as soon as we taste it' and eventually Pizzarte has not only been accepted but also seen as one of the best restaurants in Aveiro.
Nowadays, Jorge and João are also owners of the Centenário, along with a third partner, and share efforts among the establishments, Jorge being the one who is more present in Pizzarte. The house has exclusivity of deliveries with NoMenu and is already preparing work to facilitate the dispatches and take away, that have expanded to the place next to Pizzarte, where years before was the furniture business Von Haff. There will surely be lack of melted cheese and crunchy dough to Aveiro. And speaking of dough, let's talk about the pizzas. Varied and made by experienced hands, one can not miss Calzone, Havaiana, 4 seasons and, of course, Pizzarte ...
On par with the excellence of the pizzas, is the friendliness and professionalism of the staff, always filled with the young spirit that defined the house from its inception. To better perceive the air that is breathed in this establishment, one needs only mention that those who no longer work at Pizzarte, continue to attend it. Jorge assures that 'businesses are the reflection of those who create them' and it’s probably that fact that created an informal and convivial atmosphere. The Pizzarte is a meeting point par excellence and the tie-wearing crowd mixes with the earings-wearing one without any type of problem or prejudice.
This is how this famous pizzeria is presented, despite the fact that it doesn’t require one. Gone are the days when the street was no more than a dark and unknown place and where staff worked with black pants and white shirt ... But this story does not end here, because Pizzarte has its eyes on future, always looking for the perfect pizza and the ideal environment.
Is the secret really only in the dough?