Tenacious P: Paying Tribute w/ Matt Lyons of Tribute Pizza

Owner Matt Lyons discusses the inspiration behind his acclaimed San Diego restaurant Tribute Pizza, from consulting in Kenya to paying tribute to some of the greatest pies ever made. Hear about Tribute's unique space in a former post office, bonding with San Diego's tight-knit restaurant community, and the constant challenge of balancing work and personal life while running a highly popular pizza joint.

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In This Episode

  • Origins of Tribute Pizza: Matt was inspired to start Tribute after visiting Chris Bianco’s pizzeria in Phoenix. He wanted to make pizzas like Chris, so he bought the same oven and learned his techniques.

  • Consulting in Kenya: At 25, Matt spent 6 months consulting for a restaurant group in Kenya. This experience shaped his vision for Tribute and gave him confidence to open his own place.

  • Designing the Space: The current Tribute location used to be a US Post Office, which Matt believes makes an ideal restaurant spot. The large dining room is designed around views of the big wood-fired oven.

  • Community in San Diego: Matt discussed the tight-knit restaurant community in San Diego and Tribute’s relationships with other local chefs. He’s found it “humbling” to be their “favorite pizza place.”

  • Balancing Work and Life: Working at Tribute nearly every night makes it hard to find work-life balance. Matt is still learning how to better delegate tasks and responsibilities.

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