2128 SE Division Street
Open Tues. – Sunday 11:30 – 9 pm
The collaborative efforts of family, friends and crowdfunding helped open the doors to Scottie’s Pizza Parlor on SE Division St. Although the leading man and driving force in the endeavor is Scottie Rivera himself, his passion to make a great pizza is the result of his journey around the United States and uncovering at each step the “what’s next” in this life.
Originally from New York, Rivera was transplanted when he was eight years old to Albuquerque, New Mexico. His Puerto Rican, Italian, musician father stayed behind while his mother pursued her dream to own a cattle ranch which became reality shortly after Rivera’s graduation from high school. Growing up, he spent time in both worlds.
In high school his first job was working in an Italian restaurant for Luigi Napalitani, mostly busing tables. One night when the pizza chef failed to show up, he helped Luigi make dough. This was the beginning of his fascination with the process.
After graduating from the University of New Mexico, Rivera scaled the ladder at Apple computers going from the sales floor to company headquarters. “I learned a lot about business and how it works from a really good company,” he said. He met his wife Amy Cop len at college. Her drive to get a doctorate degree has propelled them to live in different cities around the country.
Their next stop was New Haven, Connecticut where Rivera became disenchanted with the corporate world and started asking the question, What do I want to do? He wanted to cook so he began his apprenticeship in the restaurant industry while learning to bake pizza at home. “I mostly figured it out myself, but there are also pizza blogs with lots of information.”
Two years ago, an Urban studies program at Portland State University brought the couple here. Rivera worked for Ava Gene’s for a few months which he said was a little more than he was ready for at the time. He worked with the Health Department doing code inspection paper work and learned all about setting up a restaurant.
His recent stint with Handsome Pizza in N. Portland was the final building block of information needed to launch his own pizza parlor. Amy’s parents showed up with tools and expertise, their family and friends with energy and, within a short period of time, they were able to redo their location into a fresh retro-looking space where Rivera serves up a great pizza for his neighbors.
A part-time New Yorker, Rivera had the opportunity to sample many great slices of pizza. This wonderful memory of taste is the motive behind the menu.
“I learned that the crust can make a big difference in the flavor. Ours are naturally leavened for two days using fresh ingredients, organic whenever possible,” he said. They serve well-crafted, basic pizzas at a reasonable rate in 18” pies or by the slice. One favorite is the Bianca pizza – fresh mozzarella and ricotta (both made in-house) with basil, garlic, and crushed red chile.
They serve Italian ices made with real fruit in lemon, black cherry, chocolate and other flavors. Salads, beer and wine are also available.
Scottie’s Pizza Parlor is a great place to gather with the family, friends or to grab a quick slice of the pie.