Big Mario Serves Late Night Slices (and 40s!) With Little Attitude

Big Mario's stays open until 2 a.m. on weekdays, 4 a.m. on weekends.
Establishments that specialize in feeding drunken masses tend to employ rather surly folks. Or, more fairly, they employ pleasant folks who, given the exhausting task of dealing with inebriated idiots every night, unconsciously develop perma-scowls on their faces.

Big Mario's should be a prime example of this. But it's not. Open until 4 a.m. on weekends, the pizza parlor- which opened on Capitol Hill back in July - is located among countless bars. The staff appears unbothered - even amused - by customer antics. "We're not assholes," the guy behind the counter proudly announces. "We're rad." That they are. When a customer walks in and wants a slice of something that isn't already made, the staff makes an entire pie to satisfy the request. "We're going to sell the other slices anyway," one of them says with a shrug.

Big Mario's gives off the laid-back but lively vibe of a bar in a small college town. It boasts a full bar featuring forties of Olde English 800 and for those wanting something harder, Jägermeister on tap. In the corner, a juxebox blasts Jimi Hendrix and the Sex Pistols and a 1980s Coca-Cola machine takes tokens emblazoned with Mario's smiling mug. Customers can sit at the bar, in booths, or stand on the sidewalk to eat their slices, which many opt to do.

The 18-inch pies made here are the creation of Mario Velloti, an Italian immigrant who came to New York in the 60s and opened pizzerias in all five buroughs of the city before bringing his pies to Seattle. The slices ($2.75 - $3.75) are so huge that just one and a beer probably put you over the recommended daily intake of carbohydrates.But when so much piping hot cheese and sweet tomato sauce stays intact even when being held in the clumsy paw of a drunk customer, it feels as though there's no other place you ought to be, come 4 a.m.

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