Meet Pizza Grace, the new pizzeria at Mercantile on Morris in Birmingham [Video]

Chef Ryan Westover
We are pleased to introduce to you, Pizza Grace. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Pizza is a fan favorite in Birmingham and one of the city’s newest pizzeria, Pizza Grace, is quickly rising to the top. Today, we’re highlighting Pizza Grace, its unique take on pizza, top-notch ingredients and the man behind the concept: award-winning chef Ryan Westover. Let’s dive in.

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How Pizza Grace came to be

pizza grace
Westover’s perfect place for pizza. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Before coming to Birmingham, owner and head chef Ryan Westover considered setting up shop in several cities, including Chicago and Washington, D.C. Luckily for us, Ryan chose Birmingham as the home for Pizza Grace, his unique take on pizza. The restaurant opened at Mercantile on Morris in early 2022 and already has a fan base, including the Bham Now team!

So why Birmingham? Ryan fell in love with the charm and historic character of both Morris Avenue and the space at Mercantile on Morris and concluded that The Magic City was the perfect home. He chose the name Pizza Grace to bring the many meanings of the word grace to life.

According to the website, each meaning represents a different area within Pizza Grace:

  • Grace- simple elegance and refinement of movement—is their approach to cooking and baking
  • Grace- courteous goodwill—is their approach to hospitality
  • Grace- a divinely given blessing—is their view of pizza, bread and local farms and producers
  • Grace- a short prayer of thanks—is the spirit (gratitude) of Pizza Grace

Meet owner and head chef, Ryan Westover

chef Ryan Westover
You can never have too much pepperoni. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The genius behind Pizza Grace is long-time restaurateur and award-winning chef Ryan Westover. Ryan began his career at two popular pizza chains before emerging as an award-winning chef in the pastry industry.   

In 2009, Westover left Georgia to pursue a career as a pastry chef and later graduated from Stratford University in Falls Church, Virginia in 2011. After graduation, he worked under Chef Dennis Marron at Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants at Jackson 20 where he was later recruited to lead the pastry department after Marron’s transfer.

Due to his style and creative, simple approach to desserts, Westover was featured in Food and Wine Magazine’s 2013 “The People’s Best New Pastry Chef” promotion and went on to the “Brightest Young Things” Donut Fest (a donut competition) that same year. He received several accolades further in his career and now hopes to make his mark as a restauranteur and pizza maker.

“Pizza is, in my mind, an artist in bread. I haven’t seen it treated like that as much as I would like to, so for the concept of Pizza Grace, we decided that this was really going to be an artist in bread bakery, packaged up as a pizzeria and restaurant.“

Ryan Westover, Owner & Head Chef, Pizza Grace

Don’t just take our word for it, check out this video of Chef Westover telling us all about his passion for pizza making:

You can learn more about Westover’s journey here.

A peek at the menu

So what sets Pizza Grace apart from the competition? One important factor is the dough. Westover and his staff use a three-ingredient, naturally leavened dough which is responsible for the pizza’s well-textured and flavorful crust. These pizzas include fresh, seasonal ingredients and are complemented by salads, veggies, original dipping sauces and desserts. 

Although their pizza and drinks are the main attraction, the upscale, modern ambiance definitely makes the experience even better. Pizza Grace offers takeout and a causal dine-in experience. If you’re looking for recommendations, my favorite is the Margherita pizza.

What’s your favorite style pizza at Pizza Grace at Mercantile on Morris? Tag us @BhamNow and let us know. Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE newsletter.

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Tira Davis
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