Artichoke Pizza Bringing Sicilian to Closed NE Kingdom Spot

BUSHWICK — A pair of Sicilian cousins known for their intensely creamy artichoke pizza are bringing their signature pies to the neighborhood, once a beacon for Sicilian immigrants a century ago.

Artichoke Basille's Pizza, with seven other shops in spots in the East Village, the West Village and Park Slope among others, will open its eighth location, taking over the space where the restaurant Northeast Kingdom once dished out its farm-to-table specialties.

"We love the neighborhood. We love the diversity, the energy, the art work," said co-owner Francis Garcia said. "We're really excited to be a part of it."

Garcia, like many a New Yorker, was saddened to hear that the owners of Northeast Kingdom had decided to call it quits.

"I gotta say, it was probably the best hamburger I had in my life," he admitted, but he heard about the vacant restaurant through a friend, and jumped on the opportunity. 

Once it opens, Artichoke Basille's Pizza will bring the area a relaxed vibe, a $4 slice, and a downstairs lounge area for those seeking table service or pitchers of cocktails, Garcia said.

"Come in, eat a slice, get a beer, stay all night or stay and just eat a slice," he said.

In researching Bushwick's pizza scene, Garcia chowed down on slices from Roberta's(though he'd been before) and Union Pizza Works and Houdini Kitchen Laboratory in nearby Ridgewood, though he was particularly impressed by Tony's, the decades-old pizzeria on Knickerbocker Avenue.

"It's awesome. It's a great New York City slice," he said.

However, Garcia said he wasn't worried the two business would be vying for the same clients.

"We make a different style of pizza," he said, adding that Artichoke's pies are more well done than Tony's pies. "We use four different cheeses, the artichoke pizza is totally different, it's just different."

"Drunk food, sober food — people travel from over to get it."

Artichoke Basille's is slated to open in late September to early October at 18 Wyckoff Ave. in Bushwick.