Il Lazzarone’s Erik Borger moves his Neapolitan oven into new River Market space
When Erik Borger — the owner of the eight-month-old Il Lazzarone pizzeria in St. Joseph, Missouri — told The Pitch that he was opening a second location of his restaurant in the River Market next March, he said he hoped that he wouldn’t have to wait so long to purchase an authentic Naples-manufactured Acunto Mario Forni oven for the Kansas City operation.
The cost of purchasing and shipping the Acunto Mario Forni oven for the St. Joseph location set the 33-year-old restaurateur back about $30,000. Today, Borger’s second Forni oven — a 6,000-pound wood-burning creation — arrived in front of the new Il Lazzarone location at 412 Delaware, ready for Borger to jump on the bright-orange forklift and haul the oven into the main dining room of the uncompleted restaurant. The former competitive bodybuilder was ready to do some heavy lifting.
The Acunto Mario Forni oven will be a necessary component to Borger’s receiving the same authentication from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (a panel of Neapolitan pizzaiolos “seeking to cultivate the culinary art of making Neapolitan pizza,” according to the organization’s website) that his first restaurant received; the St. Joseph Il Lazzarone is the only pizzeria in Kansas or Missouri to be authorized as truly Neapolitan pizza.