Richard Doering has cooked all over town: Ramsi’s, Shariat’s, the Bristol, Noosh Nosh and Sway (among others), but not once has Doering launched his own restaurant project during global pandemic restrictions.
There’s a first time for everything. Legacy Pizza and Bakery, located at 1001 Vincennes Street in New Albany (across from New Albany High School) is up and running as of Friday, April 17, with only two employees, Doering and his wife Marcy.
They’re offering a short but savory starter menu of hand-tossed New York-style pizza, calzones, a stromboli, and bread/cheese sticks for curbside pickup. As far as the coronavirus is concerned, Doering shrugs, undeterred.
“Being the consummate restaurant employee and executive chef, no matter what happens, you’ve just gotta get it done,” Doering told F&D in a phone interview Wednesday. “Considering some of things that I’ve had to face throughout my career — well, just shut up, and let’s do it.”
Doering originally hails from York, Pennsylvania, where he went to work in a local pizzeria dating to the 1950s. “My first love has always been pizza,” he said, “and I found that pizza shops, those mom and pops, they’re where you’re family, and I always liked that aspect of it.”
Family was the reason Doering, 55, stepped away from the craziness of working for others. “It was time to reconnect with my wife, who I hadn’t seen in 25 years,” he joked, but in truth, developing recipes for others and leading their kitchens had become a treadmill.
“it didn’t fill the void. Pizza was always in the back of my mind and I just love it. There’s an art to it, and there’s a simplicity. Most people think you’re just making dough and letting it puff up a little, then using it, but you have to nurture it and raise it. Each dough ball is like your child. You have to treat it perfectly.”
The Doerings found their ideal space, which until recently had been home to a bakery and coffee shop called Level Up. “With this place we can do some wholesale baking out the back, make dough, do some of my pizza, and be a more simple operation,” Doering said, adding that there’ll be ample room for seating when on-premise sales return to America, post-COVID.
For now, curbside carryout comes from the red side door on Beeler Street. The Doerings are still working on merchant services, so for now, payment can be made via Venmo, PayPal or with old-fashioned hard cash. Hours are 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Call (502) 445-9999 and chat with Marcy Doering, who handles the front of the house … and tell them Food & Dining Magazine clued you in.