Montgomery County native Andy Brown is looking forward to bringing his award-winning New York-style pizza business to Bethesda in early 2023.
Brown, 32, has had his eye on opening a location of Andy’s Pizza in Montgomery County for quite some time, but just couldn’t find the right location – until now.
“Moving to a new place with new regulations, inspectors, and new permitters and new everything [means] we’ve kind of got to learn all over again in order to grow into Maryland,” he said. “We’re just absolutely thrilled with the location we found. I’m really excited to be able to be a part of the community in a way that gets to work with the schools. We’re right across from (Bethesda Chevy Chase High School) and it feels like we’ll be part of the neighborhood of Bethesda.”
Andy’s Pizza started in 2018 in Tyson’s Galleria in McLean, Virginia, and now has four more locations in Washington, D.C. Brown, a graduate of St. Andrews Episcopal School in Potomac, said he loved cooking growing up and knew he wanted a career in food.
In addition to being Andy’s Pizza first Maryland location, at 4600 East West Highway in Bethesda, Brown said the pizzeria will also have the highest capacity compared to his other pizza restaurant locations. Like the other locations, the upcoming pizza shop will feature a bar and an upper level that can be used as an event space in the 3,000-square-foot restaurant.
Brown said he started making pizza about 10 years ago and really fell in love with it. He said he would hold pizza night every Monday in his small studio apartment in Dupont Circle where he tested out recipes with his friends.
Andy’s Pizza offers classic, award-winning pizza. Last year, Andy’s Pizza won the title of world champion for best traditional cheese pizza at the 2021 International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas.
“Every day was focused on the products and we really want our team to be really proud of the pizza that we make,” he said. “We do everything the best that we possibly can and that was really validated when we won the world pizza championship in 2021.”
During the 2021 competition, Brown said he saw other contestants prepping rare mushrooms, shaving truffles and following complex recipes while he had a bag of shredded whole milk mozzarella and a can of tomatoes that he put some salt on.
Brown said it was exciting to take the win back to his team at Andy’s Pizza.
“I was able to come home and say, ‘Look guys, this is the pizza that you make every single day,” he said. “It’s the first pizza you make, it’s the first one that hits the line. You guys make the best pizza in the world.”
As Andy’s Pizza prepares to bring its award-winning pies to Montgomery County, Brown said the most exciting aspect is coming back home as he was raised in the North Bethesda-Rockville area.
“I’m having old teachers from high school reach out and say, ‘so excited you’re coming,’ ” he said. “It’s really fun to be going back to my hometown, the city that I grew up in and be able to kind of connect with that community and those people.”