One of the most unlikely headlines coming out of yesterday’s marathon testimony of President Donald Trump’s soon-to-be imprisoned former lawyer Michael Cohen is turning out to be about an unidentified &pizza fan, caught red sauce-handed scarfing down the homegrown brand’s pie in a hallway.
Video of the ravenous intern accidentally in CBSN’s shot outside the seven-hour televised testimony on Capitol Hill was captured and tweeted by Mike Uhelein. Mashable coined the sighting as “Hallway Pizza Guy” in a post last night.
&pizza was quick to respond this morning by unleashing a “Hallway Pizza” special across the fast-casual chain, which has 30 locations sprinkled along the East Coast. A replica of what the intern ate comes topped with spicy tomato, mozzarella, salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, banana peppers, and barbecue sauce. &pizza writes it’s designed “for meat + attention lovers.”
tfw you go to eat your hallway pizza and get told you’re in the live shot pic.twitter.com/ppkq9PJraO— Mike Uehlein (@MikeUehlein) February 27, 2019
Update: Inside Edition claims to have ID’ed the pizza boy as Georgetown University undergraduate student Thomas Connelly. Jack Korologos, a friend of Connelly’s, tells the CBS TV show the two woke up at 5:30 a.m. to get in line for the hearings “to see history being made.” Of being caught on camera while devouring pizza, Korologos says “my guess is his only priority was eating the pizza in the short amount of time he had,” adding his bud is allegedly “shocked” by the internet buzz around his blooper.
&pizza is opting to keep his identity under wraps, telling Eater “we have been in contact with him but while he’s adjusting to the newfound stardom, we’ve created a GoFundMe so he doesn’t have to worry about buying pies for a while.”
That “Buy the Pizza Intern More Pizza” campaign has raised $165 towards a $10 goal, which is enough to keep him satisfied for a few weeks.
As of Thursday afternoon, &pizza’s morning tweet announcing the day’s deal to its 8,500 followers breached 50,000 views and 1,500 likes in seven hours — the brand’s biggest Tweet to date, the team tells Eater.
You asked, we answered: The official “Hallway Pizza” is available in shops today! pic.twitter.com/yYEicaQXRE— &pizza (@andpizza) February 28, 2019
&pizza had fun with memes starring its pizza boy:
When you bring your own food to the party >>> #hallwaypizza pic.twitter.com/ZPHLGhvHJ0— &pizza (@andpizza) February 28, 2019
Couldn't have scripted it any better. #hallwaypizza pic.twitter.com/PYkmX1vRBz— &pizza (@andpizza) February 28, 2019
&pizza declined to comment on today’s “Hallway Pizza” sales figures across the chain but says they’re “enough to keep the humor alive.” Thursday will be the last chance to get a taste of Hallway Pizza: “Like most things on the Internet will be gone by tomorrow,” the rep adds.
Pie competitor Pizza Hut attempted to get a slice of the hallway pizza action with this post:
Raise your hand if you've needed a hallway pizza at one time or another— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) February 28, 2019
&pizza also made a big splash on social media last month for donating thousands of pies to furloughed workers during the shutdown.
In &pizza expansion news, the brand is bulking up its portfolio near Capitol Hill with a new location coming to Union Station’s food court (Popville spotted signage this week). The 7-year-old pizza empire’s first location sits on H Street NE.