He runs the place and, looking back, some might say it was his destiny.
At 16 Nuri owned his own company AND worked at a restaurant. He knew that one day he wanted to open his own restaurant so he stuck around to learn the ropes. Working as everything from a line cook, to manager, to pizza chef, Nuri was prepared when destiny called and he opened his first pizzeria – in a gas station.
It was a risky move, but it paid off. Where two other restaurant owners had failed, Nuri kicked butt. His 400 square foot gas station pizza emporium surprised, delighted, and shocked his customers. They weren’t expecting quality, but after all his years of experience that’s all Nuri knew. Realizing he had something special, Nuri took his show on the road and bought 4 more closed or failing restaurants and let his top notch pizza turn them around. Pretty soon, he sold his wildly successful restaurants and did what any sensible person would do – threw out his recipe and started from scratch.
Nuri traveled the world, visiting over 200 of the best pizza places in New York, New Jersey, and Italy to guarantee his pizza was authentically great. Still, after months of research, Nuri knew his taste buds were biased in his favor and that the only way to guarantee quality (which, um, is pretty important) was to test his new recipe out on 100 of the toughest pizza pizza critics he could find – New Yorkers. Because if you can please them, you can please anyone.
After rave reviews from his 100 pizza snobs, Wiseguy opened in 2012…to rave reviews from The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, and most everyone on his Yelp page. It has since won best pizza slice by Washington City Paper readers two years running (2016 & 2017). Today, Wiseguy has 3 locations in the DC area and Nuri (obviously) has plans for many more. Now, when destiny calls Nuri says, “Please, call back later. We’re very busy.”
Destiny or not, Nuri is forever grateful to the Washington community for supporting him, and can’t wait to bring them more great food. Because great pizza is important to us and we’re glad you agree.