Credit: Pitzze Table Logo

Tiger Mullen, the man who opened Haven Pizzeria Napoletana in 2012, has returned to the establishment and is planning to rebrand it as a new restaurant June 1.

Mullen, 57, sold the restaurant to his two partners in December 2012 and returned to his accounting business. He says since then quality has declined.

“The guys that bought it from me didn’t know anything about the restaurant business or pizza or wines,” Mullen said. “They were absentee owners. Things really got driven pretty far down in the dirt in that 15-month period.”

Mullen described a multitude of problems he discovered at the restaurant:

  • Kitchen staff measuring gelato ingredients with their eyes, rather than using a precise scale
  • Canned clams being used for the white pizza, rather than fresh clams
  • Swapping out the hand-pulled mozzarella for low-grade mozzarella block cheese

“I could go on for days like this,” Mullen said. “That’s the kind of stuff that was going on.” Mullen officially became the restaurant’s owner again on April 1, and he has instituted a series of steps to turn the business around. First, he purchased a scale so staff could properly weigh gelato ingredients. He changed the water filters. He purchased San Marzano tomatoes to use for the sauce. And made sure the mozzarella was hand-pulled.

“We’ve greatly improved the pizza,” Mullen said. “It’s not exactly where I want it, but it’s a far cry from where it was several weeks ago.”

On June 1, the restaurant’s name will change to Pitzze Table and an expanded menu will be rolled out, according to Mullen. It will include more salad offerings, new small plate options, and a line of rustic breads cooked in the coal oven. The breads will be featured on the restaurant’s new breakfast menu, which includes drip coffee, espresso, and a serve-yourself spread station complete with preserves, cream cheeses, soft cheeses and butter.

Mullen said prices will increase slightly as the restaurant switches over to higher quality ingredients. To ensure a smooth transition, Mullen quit his job as a certified public accountant to run the business full time.

“I was getting bored practicing as a CPA,” Mullen said. “My real passion was the food and the recipes and the service, and I decided I’d hang up my accounting practice and focus on being a restaurateur.”

An example of one of the rustic bread sandwiches that will be added to the menu. Credit: Tiger Mullen