General Manager Whitney Pirre checked her watch.
Rocky Hill's newest pizza restaurant, Stone and Paddle, had been open for exactly 12 minutes, and Pirre and her staff had already handed out 20 pieces of pizza to customers who had formed a line that snaked out of the restaurant's entrance.
Over lunchtime that number grew, with employee Natalie O'Connor saying that another 75 slices were given away during the peak time.
For customer Peter Daddeo, 55, the product was worth the wait.
"Crispy. Cheesy. Excellent," was all Daddeo could say. John Stefanik, 61, added that it is “just good pizza.”
“Nice crispy crust, a nice, flavorful tomato sauce, I'm very pleased with it," Stefanik said.
The Stone and Paddle specializes in serving gourmet, California-style, thin crust pizza.
The central Connecticut team of Neil Sharp and Michael Swanson, of Coventry and Ellington, respectively, opened their first Stone and Paddle restaurant in 2009 in Vernon and quickly followed by opening another eatery in Manchester in soon thereafter.
This week Nichole Salvato, 22, came into the new Rocky Hill location to pick up a slice of pizza for her roommate. Salvato had tasted Stone and Paddle pizza herself previously and gave it high marks. She also attested to the quality of other items on the restaurant's menu.
"I ate here this weekend, and I had the spinach-artichoke dip. Absolutely delicious," Salvato said.
Stone and Paddle is located at 154 New Britain Ave. and is open Sunday - Thursday, 11:30 a.m. - 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.