Travis Evans of Whole Slvce Pizza (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Whole Slvce Pizza Brings a Taste of New York City to Tucson

April 29, 2024
By Matt Sterner

"A neighborhood vibe slice shop."

Ari Shapiro and Travis Evans, the team behind Falora, are excited to announce the Grand Opening of Whole Slvce Pizza on Wednesday, May 1 at 160 S. Avenida del Convento.

“I keep visiting New York — like every year — because I miss it,” said Evans. “I love pizza. I go back to New York, eat pizza, and I was like, ‘We need to do this.'”

Travis Evans of Whole Slvce Pizza (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

For Evans and Shapiro, watching Whole Slvce Pizza unfold is extremely special because both have connections to New York City. Shapiro grew up just outside of the city and Evans worked there for many years, baking for Sullivan Street’s Jim Lahey.

An Ode to New York

The new concept, found in the Mercado District at the ground level of the Monier Apartments, definitely has that nostalgic feeling of a pizza joint in New York City. There’s even a beautiful art installation hung up by Nick Georgiou — a New York-native artist who’s now working in Tucson. The piece was made specifically for Whole Slvce Pizza, too.

Travis Evans of Whole Slvce Pizza (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

When it comes to the food, though, the shop is set up like one of the walk-up spots seen in New York City, serving deck-oven slices and large pies.

“The difference between Whole Slvce Pizza and Falora is that Falora is Neapolitan — wood-fired,” said Evans. “High heat, 12 inches, long cold ferment, and kind of made-to-order. That would be the big difference because Neapolitan versus New York-inspired or New York-style pizza is that it’s at a lower temperature.”

Whole Slvce Pizza (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

“For the New York-style pizza, which is what we’re doing here, the hydration is about the same and it’s a longer fermentation than at Falora, so it just becomes even more digestible and more flavorful.”

What’s on the Menu?

Just like Falora, the menu’s emphasis is still on fermented dough, fresh toppings, plenty of vegan options, and a mix of traditional and creative slices. The menu is split into two sections: ClassiC (CC) and Vegan Version (VV). There are six options to choose from but in reality, it’s 12 because each of them can be made “ClassiC” or vegan.

It’s a double whammy pizza-lovin’ experience goin’ down at Whole Slvce Pizza.

4. (tomato sauce, salami, Calabrian chili, red onion, ricotta, parmesan) at Whole Slvce Pizza (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

“So, with me being plant-based and Ari being plant-based now, this gave me an opportunity to intentionally go plant-based and make things delicious,” said Evans. “We’re making delicious food and making friendships in the neighborhood.”

The name is just as creative as the menu, too. In the logo, the “o” in the word “Whole” is a whole pizza — Evans also mentioned that it represents a vinyl record — and the “v” in the word “Slvce” represents a slice.

Whole Slvce Pizza (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

“The idea behind this concept is you’re going to come in, you’re going to order a slice, and I’m going to reheat the slice so it can get all delicious again,” said Evans. “You know, if you want a whole pie we can make a whole pie! The idea is to have that neighborhood vibe slice shop.”

Below are the signature pizzas on the menu, which are simply numbered one through six, and can be served as they are listed or vegan. Plus, there is the option to custom-build your own creation.

  • 1. – tomato sauce, mozzarella, Romano
  • 2. – tomato sauce, mozzarella, Romano, pepperoni
  • 3. – mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest, black pepper
  • 4. – tomato sauce, salami, Calabrian chili, red onion, ricotta, parmesan
  • 5. – tomato sauce, mozzarella, yellow onion, yellow bell pepper, sausage, parmesan
  • 6. – tomato sauce, kale, cremini mushrooms, eggplant, pesto, parmesan
1. (tomato sauce, mozzarella, Romano) at Whole Slvce Pizza (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Sure, Evans is super excited about the different pizzas on hand, but there’s even more on the menu that’s firing him up.

For one, there’s the Holy Cannoli specially made for Whole Slvce Pizza by Houlden’s Rise Above. “We love her, man,” Evans added.

Then, there’s his very own creation, the Strombone. Evans lit up when it was time to make a Strombone and I believe he lit up even more when he explained how the creation came about.

Strombone at Whole Slvce Pizza (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

“So, at Falora, I would eat a pizza every day for lunch and every now and again there’d be a hole in your dough — I always try and use the most beat-up dough as possible and then save the best for everyone else,” Evans explained while stretching out some dough onto a pan.”

“When that happens — when it has a hole — you flip it over, make a calzone, and you have lunch. Then, this one time, instead of just flipping it over, I rolled it up and filled it like a baguette. I salted it and scored it. And then, it wasn’t quite a calzone. It wasn’t quite a strombole. So, what is it? It’s a Strombone!

Strombone at Whole Slvce Pizza (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

The Strombone will be available every day but the ingredients of what’s thrown inside will be swapped out from time to time to keep things interesting.

Additionally, there’s a Kale Salad on the menu, a small fridge full of sodas, teas, and other NA beverages, and then some super slick swag — we all love local swag, right?

Take it To-Go or Hang Around

Soon, they’re going to have three two-tops set outside along each window, and there are plans to revamp the courtyard behind/west of the pizza shop, which already has a few chairs to relax on. Also, the MSA Annex is just a few steps away — put on those walkin’ shoes, saddle up at Westbound’s bar, and dangle that delicious slice in front of the folks sitting across from you.

They’re also teaming up with ’81 Barbers right next door. The barbershop is in the process of getting a liquor license for their patio (they already have an indoor bar), which will have more space for tables and room to enjoy your meal.

“We’re going to have that relationship and it’s so cool,” Evans added.

Beginning Wednesday, May 1, the pizza shop is open daily — 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Whole Slvce Pizza is located at the ground floor level of Monier Apartments, 160 S. Avenida del Convento. For more information, visit and follow Whole Slvce Pizza on Instagram.

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