Deep Ellum pizza joint Serious Pizza is now part of the Milkshake Concepts family. The restaurant group’s CEO Imran Sheikh (who heads up the team behind Milkshake Concepts’s sexy bar-restaurants Citizen, Stirr, and Vidorra) announced the news in an Instagram post yesterday afternoon.
The plan, according to a subsequent email exchange with Sheikh, is to make some changes to Serious where they see the most opportunity, while keeping the pizzeria’s original owners Mike Turley and Andrew Phillips closely involved in the creative and culinary processes.
“I’ve been familiar with the brand since moving to Texas from London in 2013. Once we started building Stirr in 2016, we became more familiar with the pizza and even more importantly, with the incredible following and customers they had,” Sheikh tells Eater.
If all goes to plan, Sheikh and his team expect to improve operations and product quality, renovate the current space for an “enhanced” experience, start offering delivery, and maybe even open more Serious Pizza locations in the future.
“I loved what they were doing but felt there was still so much unfulfilled potential,” says Sheikh of his company’s new involvement with the beloved XL pizza joint.
As far as whether or not Milkshake owns Serious Pizza now, Sheikh had this to say: “It’s a partnership under a new corporate entity that now owns the ‘Serious’ brand. The operations and business development will fall under Milkshake’s control, but the boys [Mike and Andrew] will be involved in creative and culinary processes.”
Milkshake has been negotiating the terms of the lease on the space, noting that renovations won’t start for at least a few months.
“The most important thing is this: we love Serious Pizza,” continues Sheikh, adding: “the intention was never to take away from what makes it so special and such an important thread in Deep Ellum’s fabric. It is to take what’s great, and build around it to make it even better – and primed for growth in the future.”