The Pizza Shop tests Downtown Albany's dinner crowd

The Pizza Shop is one of the first restaurants recently to test the Downtown Albany dinner crowd

There's one word Francesca Mannino Bragg would use to describe The Pizza Shop's opening week.

"Hectic!" Bragg says.

The Pizza Shop opened on Monday and tested the dinnertime crowd on Thursday and Friday.

"We've had a couple reservations already. I've got reservations for this Sunday. It's been busy," says Bragg.

From familiar faces to new ones, people are excited about getting The Pizza Shop's pizza, pasta, Stromboli and subs during dinner hours.

"When my wife came up tonight, she asked 'What do you want to do for dinner?' I said lets go see if they're open for dinner, and we were wonderfully surprised to find out they are," says customer John King, who used to frequent Mama Gina's: the restaurant owned by Bragg's mother and father.

The Pizza Shop is one of the first restaurants in some time to test the Downtown Albany dinner crowd. Customers say they need more dinner places like it downtown.

"They need a lot more places to stay open later. They'd probably attract more people downtown," says first-time customer Tyler Hale, who also works in Downtown Albany. "It was a new place downtown, I work downtown and I wanted to come in and try it out. I'd recommend it to everybody I know."

The Pizza Shop is only open in the evening on Thursdays and Fridays, but Bragg has said before that if all goes well, they may include more evenings.

"We were going to try out the night hours, see how it works out, and so far so good," says Bragg. "Aaron (Blair, Downtown Manager) is working on a bunch of stuff, so it's going to work out."

With rave customer reviews, more dinner hours may not be far behind.

The Pizza Shop is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Thursday through Friday 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. The restaurant is located at 232 W. Broad Avenue, next to Cafe 230, and can be contacted by phone at (229) 435-1900. Get more information about The Pizza Shop on their Facebook Page.