Owner Joey Dedovic outside his newly reopened Outpost Pizza on Main Street. The restaurant was closed six weeks after a car barreled into the front of the building. / Photo by Thane Grauel

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT – Outpost Pizza on upper Main Street is back in business following more than six weeks of repairs after a car crashed into the downtown restaurant.

The pandemic wasn’t kind to restaurants, but the pizzeria, which opened at 333 Main St. during the COVID-19 lockdown, somehow was making it through. Then came what could have been a knockout punch — about 3 a.m. June 27, a car barreled into the front corner of the eatery, smashing through the side wall and reducing the front to rubble and broken glass.

Owner Joey Dedovic vowed to make repairs and reopen in a couple weeks. But it was a difficult time for contractors, and lumber prices had quadrupled. 

Pizzamaker Reggie Guri tosses dough at Outpost Pizza, / Photo by Thane Grauel

On Friday, particle board still stood in for glass, which is on backorder.

But that didn’t stop Michael Kaplan of Westport from stopping in for a slice and Coke. “The best pizza in town,” he said.

As people came in for lunch Friday afternoon, many asked Dedovic about the repairs and said they were glad the shop was finally back. He said people often stopped by during the repairs to lend support and encouragement. 

“It made me want to work harder and come back stronger,” he said. “Westport is a lovely town, a real community.”

Michael Kaplan of Westport stopped by the newly reopened Outpost Pizza on Friday afternoon. / Photo by Thane Grauel

One customer asked Dedovic about the repairs and how the insurance company was treating him. Dedovic said he is out of pocket for tens of thousands of dollars in repairs so far. He said he couldn’t delay opening any longer because he worried about losing his customer base to competitors. He also lost some workers. Signs outside the shop say help is wanted.

Dedovic is particularly proud of his hot oil pizza. It’s traditional pizza drizzled with chili pepper-infused olive oil. Talking with customers, Dedovic said he and his dad, Tom Dedovic, tinkered with the recipe for more than six months to get it exactly right. At first, their recipe was too hot. The final recipe includes a touch of sugar to temper the heat, he said, giving a sweet-and-spicy balance.

Pies in the pizza case at Outpost Pizzs. / Photo by Thane Grauel

The shop on Main Street is the second Outpost location run by the father and son team. The first opened at 365 West Ave. in Stamford 16 years ago.

Dedovic said the Westport location is great.

“I was eyeballing this location for two years,” he said after spotting it while traveling through town to avoid heavy traffic on the Merritt Parkway on his way to Stamford. 

Outpost’s menu offerings go beyond pizza. The kitchen serves up gourmet burgers, wraps, hot subs, cold subs, soups, club sandwiches and wedges. Entrees include pasta dishes, chicken parm, eggplant parm and chicken marsala, homemade lasagna and calzones.

Outpost Pizza, 333 Main St., can be reached at 203-557-8833 or outpostpizza.com

A slice of hot oil pizza at Outpost Pizza. / Photo by Thane Grauel