Team behind new Falkirk pizza slice shop offer taste of what can be expected

Pizza lovers have been given a flavour of what to expect when a New York-inspired slice shop opens in Falkirk.

By Jonathon Reilly
Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th May 2021, 9:22 am

Sal’s Falkirk will start dishing out its hand-made creations next week – and the team behind the takeaway can’t wait to fire up the ovens.

Based in what was formerly Habaneros Mexican Street Food, the Kirk Wynd eatery has brought on board two in-house bakers who will make all of the dough for its pizzas, ciabatta and focaccia fresh on-site every day.

The shop is set to welcome customers from Monday, May 17 and will sell its pizza slices loose to take away, with collection and delivery services also available.

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Sal's staff Blair Nisbet, supervisor; Indiana Aitken, manager; Chelsea MacDonald, assistant manager; and Leda Sweeney, head cook. Mural by Michael Corr. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Although it’s a new addition to the town’s food scene, the staff at Sal’s are well-known faces in Falkirk.

Regulars at fellow pizza specialists Rialto will be heartened to hear its owner, Colin Green, is the man responsible for Sal’s, while incoming manageress Indiana Aitken spent eight years with the eatery.

Indiana will also work alongside her mum, Leda Sweeney, the original manager of the 20-year-old establishment.

The family ties don’t end there though, as Colin’s sister, Clare Nisbet, and nephew, Blair Nisbet, will also form part of the ten-strong workforce at Sal’s.

Clare will be a familiar face to many as she previously ran a delicatessen in the same Kirk Wynd premises.

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Listing what awaits food fans at Sal’s, Indiana said: “We’ll do slices, sandwiches, soups, salad, shakes and sweet treats and move on to pizzas after 4pm.

“We’ve got our own app and we’re going to try and get as many using that as possible. We’re going to take orders for collections from 11am and move on to deliveries from 4pm. We’ll open from 11am until 11pm.

“We aim to serve homemade, high-quality food with a laidback attitude.”

The plans and hopes for Sal’s are clear.

However, what may be less obvious is the origin of the business.

Colin explained: “The idea for the shop began with a 1989 Spike Lee film called Do the Right Thing, set in Brooklyn.

“There are menu items, photos and a mural which reference the film, but it also pays homage to an older New York aesthetic of family-run bodegas, liquor stores and those old newsstands which have almost vanished.

“As well as pizza, the plan is also to apply for a take-out alcohol license and sell gifts. It’s about being a merchant and selling things face-to-face again.

“‘Happiness is just around the corner’ is a tagline we’ve used to promote the place and refers to coming out this pandemic and the lifting of restrictions, but it’s also about the shop’s corner location, as literally and figuratively the pizzeria would be the cornerstone of the neighbourhood.

“There’s work too by a group of artists from Glasgow called Artpistol who used materials and methods which, as well as following local heritage guidelines, stayed true to the spirit and energy of those old by-the-slice pizzerias.”

Sal’s will also feature a miniature gallery space to display the work of Falkirk district artists and support local causes.

One such organisation is the Scott Martin Foundation, set up in memory of a teenage boxer who tragically died on New Year’s Day, which Colin and his employees at Rialto have already partnered with.

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