a selection of dishes from press photo by michelle volansky

Smash pizza spot Press will open a new location near the Grove this spring

The owners of Press, the home of smash pizzas, are partnering with old friends to open a location near the Grove this spring. The second Press location will be at The Improv Shop at 3960 Chouteau Ave. in St. Louis, as reported by Feast.

The partnership came from a friendship between Press co-owner Brian Schuman and Kevin McKernan, owner of The Improv Shop. “Back in the day, I was the bar manager of Fitz's restaurant in the Loop, and we held a weekly comedy show every Thursday night,” said Schuman. “Kevin's involvement with the comedy and improv scene brought him into Fitz's back in the day and we became friends.” Since leaving Fitz’s, Schuman teamed up with Logan Ely and Corey Moszer to create Press, which opened their first location in summer 2022.

When the opportunity to move into Improv Shop came up, Press jumped at it. With the popularity of pickup and Uber Eats orders going up, a second location sounded like a good idea. “We noticed … that we were soon outgrowing just the one spot,” said Schuman. The new location will be inside the comedy club – where improv enthusiasts and hungry locals can pop in for a slice. Pizza lovers can hang out in the lounge area around the bar or patio, and improv-goers can order and enjoy their pizza for a show. Carryout and delivery will also be available.

Press is known for their smash pizzas – what they describe as a cross between a quesadilla, calzone and okonomiyaki – and the new location will feature just that, albeit on a smaller scale. “We'll do probably half the amount of the pizzas that we do here just to start,” said Logan Ely. However, fans are guaranteed to find familiar favorites like Press’s mushroom, featuring sottocenere and quark cheese with Tuscan kale; and pepperoni, covered in pickled peppers, arugula and a pepperoni aioli. While The Improv Shop already has its own bar program, Press devotees will be happy to know a selection of the pizza spot’s cocktails – created by beverage director Corey Moszer – will be available on draft. 

Much of the same team from the original location will make their way to the second. “It's like everybody's playing zone defense, if you will,” said Ely. “Just being where they need to, to make the whole thing work.” Depending on where they are needed, Brian, Logan, Corey and other team members will move between locations. Steve Laury, sous chef at the original Press, will likely be spearheading the new site. “We're excited to see people kind of step into certain roles,” Ely said.

As of right now, Press near the Grove will only be open three days a week – Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m. As Press settles in to its new location, they’ll expand hours. “We just need to kind of get our feet underneath us, I guess, before we go full time,” said Ely. Updates for Press can be found on their website and Instagram