Popolari comes from the Italian word meaning popular, and the restaurant will have some of the most popular classic Italian dishes on the menu. Including dishes like pasta puttanesca, chicken Milanese, and shrimp scampi. For Bloomfield residents looking for a new place to enjoy a handcrafted pizza or a classic Italian pasta dish Popolari, a new “retro-chic” (as the restaurant owner describes it) pizzeria and restaurant opened on June 8th. Read on to learn more about Popolari, a new unique pizzeria in Bloomfield.
From Milan to Montclair
Owned and designed by long-time Montclair resident Mido Emad, Popolari aims to bring the flare of retro Milan to New Jersey. “I have always wanted to open a restaurant, I love cooking but I never wanted to be in the kitchen. I am more of a creative person,” Emad said.
Three months ago, he heard about an open restaurant space from a friend, and after looking at the space and seeing its potential Emad jumped right in and began designing and creating a new brand for his restaurant. “I heard about the restaurant from a friend who is now the head chef of Popolari – Chef Floyd,” Emad explained.
The two of them and Emad’s girlfriend, Ms. Yordanova, formed a team to create Popolari.
The restaurant has 60 outdoor seats and 39 indoor seats. The entire restaurant creates the feeling of being in a cool lounge in Italy. The interior features an open concept kitchen with bar top seating, and a colorful display of handcrafted vintage posters displaying different Italian icons.
The restaurant has two different kinds of pizza, a ten-inch Neapolitan style pizza, and 16-inch American style pizza with all of the classic toppings as well as Italian dishes like spicy rigatoni vodka and burrata over gnocchi. “The idea is to marry both worlds, between a pizzeria and traditional Italian restaurant,” Emad explained.
Emad is so serious about getting the pizza right that he bought a brand new oven and imported it from Italy.
“We realized that Bloomfield is growing, especially after the pandemic,” Emad said. “Popolari will offer an opportunity to come in and have a pizza, or pick one up or come and have a full meal.” He continued, “When you go to a regular pizza place it is usually in and out, whereas here you can sit inside or in the backyard feel like you are in Milan.”
Popolari plans to open for brunch starting in July on Saturdays and Sundays and will be BYOB. Emad plans to use Popolari’s specials menu to highlight other Meditteranean countries’ food, such as a Spanish torta.
For the late-night crowd, Popolari will extend its hours to 11PM on Fridays and Saturdays for those who want to come out and grab a quick bite before heading home.
“This is just a place where you can come and hang out, we are child and family-friendly, and we are pet friendly too with our outdoor seating,” Emad said.
Popolari is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. To stay in the know with the pizzeria, follow it on Instagram.