Patrick McColley is the man behind the amazing logo of a square piece of pizza with his dukes up seen in the Park Place Mall food court. Squared Up Pizza is more than a cool logo, though. McColley’s vision of bringing delicious Sicilian/New York pizza to Tucson coincided with Park Place’s vision of bringing local flare to their dining options.
It’s like a match made in Bensonhurst.
Mr. McColley is a true Tucsonan, born and bred. He has earned some restaurant bones at places like Pinnacle Peak and The Lodge at Ventana Canyon, however, he has a real entrepreneurial spirit. He has also owned a landscaping company, a barber supply company, and even designed barber shops. It is this spirit, and his time in New York, that was the catalyst for Squared Up Pizza.
“I kept running into Sicilian-style pizza in New York. I loved it. I got to thinking, we really don’t have any in Tucson,” McColley tells me. However, he is not a one-trick pony. They make some killer New York “rounds” and are expanding the menu for some sandwich options, in the near future.
McColley really wanted that authentic New York experience when he started conceptualizing Squared Up. “If you have ever talked to anyone from New York about pizza (or bagels, or anything for that matter), you always get one response. ‘It’s the water,'" he declared. He is not wrong. So, how did he plan on getting around that issue? He didn’t. McColley decided to bring New York water to Tucson.
Lace up your gloves, protect yourselves at all times, keep shots above the belt, and let’s have a clean Nine on the Line!
I would say the first meal that did that, I probably didn’t even realize it was happening. It was the first time I ate something that wasn’t baby food! I kid, I kid. As far as the first dish I really remember making me think about food differently was the first time I had sushi with my Dad in California. It was after a soccer tournament and the whole team went. Most of us were trying it for the first time… loved it ever since!
Well, I wouldn’t say that I recommend it to everyone. However, for us at Squared Up, I would say that it is our water system, called New York Watermaker, that reproduces the exact molecular structure and chemical composition of New York City water. We use this water in all of the dough and even the soda machine, giving the people a real (square) slice of the Big Apple!
That is a tough one, if I recall correctly, it was my dad’s Goulash recipe. Ground beef and onions, elbow macaroni, tomatoes with salt and pepper, and some other seasonings.
At home, it is my mesquite smoked salt. I try to incorporate it into just about everything I cook at home. At the shop, I’m starting to get into Italian Beef Sandwiches to add to the pizza menu!
If it was anyone ever, it would be Anthony Bourdain and his crew. He just had such a positive attitude towards food and the harsh realities of what it takes to prepare, cook, and present an outstanding dish. If it’s someone current, it would be Tony Gemignani. He is a 13-time World Cup pizza champion and has also been my mentor for the last 9 months. Tony really helped me with bringing Tucson the best possible pizza using top-shelf ingredients. He is someone I look up to now, and I’m in his industry!
Either Vegas because of all the choices you get or the Bay (San Francisco) where Tony is located. There is tons of great food in our country, anytime I travel I go for local eats or where Bourdain ate when he was there.
There is so much to choose from. My all-time favorite goes to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, though. But only if it has been in the freezer for a day or more!
Number one would be Hops Sports Grill — Brian and his team have done an amazing job with that place and the burgers are on point! Number two, Trident Grill — any one of them the whole menu is fire, the bone-in pork chop is prob my favorite alongside some fresh oysters. Number three is Sachiko Sushi. I feel like it’s the best in town. The atmosphere is always great, it’s always busy and always fresh. Chef Lee and his team are amazing at their craft! Plus, it’s Daniel's favorite food to eat! When my kiddo wants it, we get it.
Probably from the Salt Cellar in Scottsdale. A couple of pounds of king crab, scallops, and a shrimp cocktail! It would definitely be a seafood dinner since I’m landlocked in the desert.