Hot Pizza Cold Beer serves a huge, build-your-own slice of pizza.

Hot Pizza Cold Beer Offers Retro Eats Near America’s Center Convention Complex

Monday February 26, 2024

By Rachel Huffman

Hot Pizza Cold Beer has joined Hi-Pointe Drive-In and Sugarfire Smoke House in downtown St. Louis, one block from America’s Center Convention Complex.

All three fast-casual restaurants come from chef-owner Mike Johnson, who is a staunch supporter of the neighborhood.

“I’ve wanted to open a pizza place for a while, and I couldn’t think of a better location than downtown,” Johnson says. “When there are events at America’s Center, Washington Avenue buzzes with activity, and I want to be a part of that.”

Coming straight outta the 80s, Hot Pizza Cold Beer is a family-friendly pizza joint, complete with arcade games for endless entertainment.

Whether you order slices or pies, the East Coast-style thin-crust pizza is the main draw. Johnson orders the flour, tomato sauce and cheese from Italy, and if he had to choose, he would pick the Canadian Tuxedo with Canadian bacon, caramelized pineapple and hot maple syrup every time.

“People love to use hot honey on pizza, so why not hot maple syrup?” he asks. “I start with the highest quality maple syrup, and I add a bunch of peppers as it reduces. We drizzle that on the Canadian Tuxedo, and it’s so good.”

“The P.I.M.P. Slice has the same square footage as a regular pizza, and it only has crust on one edge – if that’s what you like.”

– Mike Johnson

A veteran of the restaurant industry, Johnson understands how to get diners excited about his food. Barbecue specials – splashed across social media and available at Sugarfire Smoke House – have ranged from sloppy joe-style brisket tossed in housemade Buffalo sauce and topped with melted Cheddar, crunchy pickles and fried onions on a split top bun to a hoagie roll stuffed with pulled rib, brisket chili, hot pepper cheese sauce, pickles and crushed potato chips to a monster taco filled with smoked brisket, chorizo, guacamole, pico de gallo, lettuce, radish, sour cream and cilantro.

Now, Johnson has created radical slices of pizza as big as your babes for Hot Pizza Cold Beer. “The P.I.M.P. Slice has the same square footage as a regular pizza,” Johnson explains, “and it only has crust on one edge – if that’s what you like.”

Design your own 16-inch slice with toppings such as sausage, pepperoni, smoked chicken, onion, green pepper, black olives, mushrooms, spinach and artichokes.

Hot Pizza Cold Beer also boasts retro menu items, including housemade pizza rolls. The craveable appetizer comes in two flavors: supreme (what you would expect from the pizza rolls of your youth) and spinach-ricotta (for the vegetarians among us).

Want to share? Order portions of garlic cheese bread, roasted garlic hummus and fried wings with any number of sauces – think Buffalo, teriyaki, garlic-Parmesan, lemon-pepper and sweet Thai chile.

“My favorite starter is the whipped feta,” Johnson says. “It has a pomegranate-molasses drizzle that’s pretty irresistible.”

Beer is an obvious pairing for the comfort food coming out of the kitchen, and Hot Pizza Cold Beer offers 24 drafts from local favorites such as 4 Hands Brewing Co., Anheuser-Busch and Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.

Right now, Hot Pizza Cold Beer is open every day from 11 a.m. until sold out. See you there!