Connor Riley and Lucy Stoyke-Riley didn’t plan on opening a pizza joint two weeks before the pandemic hit. An opportunity simply presented itself in late 2019—the shuttering of a Duluth space called Pizza Man—and the siblings decided to seize it.
Redesigning the dining room and developing the menu took months, however, leaving them with little choice but to swing open the doors of LuLu’s Pizza right before Minnesota’s first lockdown. That’s when Connor’s experience of running Amazing Grace Cafe + Grocery kicked in, along with the pair’s past lives in Minneapolis. (Connor worked at Linden Hills Co-op, Loring Pasta Bar, and Tracy’s Saloon; Lucy spent more than a decade bouncing around co-ops.)
“I’d like to say it’s been good for us, since it seems like pizza is a bit pandemic-proof,” says Connor. LuLu’s isn’t just tailor-made for takeout though; there’s no other North Shore pizzeria quite like it. The closest analogs to its unconventional toppings and chewy sourdough crust are found at Pizzeria Lola and Black Sheep in the Twin Cities.
LuLu’s excels at experimentation, too—dabbling in globally inspired combos like the Banh Mi-Za, Tandoori Tikka, and our personal favorite, the Lamb Shop. A master class in Mediterranean flavors, that last one features ras el hanout seasoning, hummus, roasted garlic, red onion, feta, mozzarella, olive oil, parsley, and roasted lamb.
“Almost everything is better on a sourdough crust covered in cheese,” says Lucy. “The possibilities are endless.”
Minnevangelist co-founder Andrew Parks wrote about LuLu’s in the current issue of Minnesota Monthly. Click here to read his full Q&A with the co-owners. And hey, if you’re headed up to the North Shore soon, do what we do: Order your LuLu’s to go so you can chase it with a Venture Pils from Bent Paddle Brewing Co., just five minutes away.
420 W. Superior St., Duluth, MN; 218-481-7167.