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Bye-Bye Corner Pizzeria, Hello Big Mama’s!

A popular family-owned restaurant closes—but its owners' dream lives on.

Two years and nine months after it opened on the intersection of Colorado Boulevard and Caspar, adjacent to the long-running Eagle Rock Farmers’ Market, one of the neighborhood's favorite eateries has shut its doors.

Corner Pizzeria, whose bright-red and yellow walls were decorated with license plates from just about every state in the nation, baked its last pizza on Sept. 30.

The family-run restaurant now has a new set of owners. And they’re planning to start a Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria franchise on the property—but with a twist. Instead of a stand-alone BMPP franchise, the new venture will combine a pizzeria with a bar.

Modeled on the BJ’s chain of casual restaurants, the bar will be located in the vacant space next door, where Corner Pizzeria’s founder, Eddie Kadinyan, had planned to start a stylish restaurant called 5 Line. The proposed restaurant’s name is a tribute to the 5 Line “Yellow Cars” trolley system that once linked Eagle Rock to downtown Los Angeles and the City of Hawthorne.

The new pizzeria will be connected to the BJ’s-style bar by a common door, according to manager Alex Mehrabian. The two-in-one restaurant will retain the “5 Line” name, which will be combined in some way with BMPP. The upcoming restaurant, which will seat about 140 guests, is expected to be finished by February 2013.

The Corner Pizzeria sign is still outside the restaurant, but it won’t be there for longer than a week or two, Mehrabian said. Pizzas made with Big Mama’s & Papa’s ingredients are already being served, although the Corner Pizzeria menu has been retained—at least for now. Corner Pizzeria discount coupons are also being honored.

The new restaurant is being refurbished. Dining tables and chairs inherited from Corner Pizzeria will soon be replaced, and booths redone, according to Mehrabian. The red-brick wall facing Caspar Avenue will be fortified with 6-inch by 8-inch wooden beams.

To Corner Pizzeria lovers, the most glaring change so far is the sight of the restaurant’s walls. No longer do they sport the colorful license plates that Corner Pizzeria’s founder purchased on Ebay. The plates were all recently bought by a customer, manager Mehrabian said.

Asked why he sold Corner Pizzeria—especially without realizing his dream of opening 5 Line—Kadinyan said he was bought out by the new owners, whom he identified as a corporation consisting of three partners. “It was a good opportunity for me and my family,” he said. “We liked the price we got.”

Nelson R Grande II October 18, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Wonder what?
Charles Serio October 18, 2012 at 06:23 PM
I'm from New York (Staten Island to be precise). The fact is all of Eagle Rock's restaurant/pizza establishments are of poor quality - the best being Capri (a 7 on a scale of 1-10). All use ingredients of poor quality( the mozzarella is awful), are greasy and lack flavor. The Eagle Rock pizza places seem concerned more with price than quality with quality the big loser. Eagle Rock's pizza entrepreneurs need to intern at any New York local pizza establishment (or Boston) to learn how to make decent pizza.
thalliday October 18, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Much of Eagle Rock's character comes from it's independent shops and eateries - a reflection of its inhabitants. This also attracts people from further afield. Sad to hear that a chain is moving in, and that it's modeling itself after such a mediocre mainstream joint. I don't believe this is reflective of the neighborhood or our visitors. And I hope it does not become so.
Kathy October 18, 2012 at 08:10 PM
I called Corner Pizza for home delivery and I was very happy with the food and fast service. However, I never tried to go into the store because of parking. Where are these 140 people patronizing the new BMPP supposed to park??
Jeff October 18, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I heard Corner Pizza and Big Mama's were under the same corporate structure. Also, up in La Canada, at Ocean View and Foothill is a similar looking spin off called "Hello Pizza". Probably a franchise where the owner can rename or use Big Mama's name.
jack October 18, 2012 at 10:41 PM
That's a great idea!
jack October 18, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Drive about 6 miles east into old town Pasadena and take a look around. What do you see? Restaurants with (gasp!) bars, and people, yes people, eating, laughing, strolling and my God even spending money. Grow up already.
Christiana October 18, 2012 at 10:58 PM
No more Mexican pizza?! :-(. I'm going to miss that but bring on the bars. I've live here my whole life and fully embrace
Dspencer October 19, 2012 at 12:06 AM
yes, it's the same... so why is everyone complaining about losing their Veggie Kapouri's and Mexican Pizzas when the menu is identical ??
EagleRockMom October 19, 2012 at 01:01 AM
140 seats? Where are all of these people going to park? This sucks.
EagleRockMom October 19, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Mary brings up a reasonable question: How did they get around the parking requirements that come with a business for 140 customers? I predict this Mama Papas garbage will not be successful like Corner Pizzeria. The food will be lame and there will be no parking.
bbkong October 19, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I say welcome to our new pizza spot! I wish them the best of luck. I'm looking forward to trying it soon.
Jinx October 19, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Well all who are opposed, remember this - you don't have to go. No law or measure requires you to go to any pizza place and pay extra for a perfectly normal pizza just because the place ALSO happens to serve booze. Last I checked, you can get both for cheaper elsewhere and even enjoy them in the peace and quiet of your own home.
Jason October 19, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I guess I'm confused. Why are people complaining about "another" pizza place? It's just a takeover of a pre-existing pizza place. I don't really see the problem here.
Andrew Hindes October 19, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Not sure anyone's complaining, just voicing concern that a) they're expanding to a 140-seat restaurant while presumably not adding any new parking and b) it's modeled on a generic chain that will not reflect the independent spirit and character of the neighborhood.
rebecca niederlander October 19, 2012 at 04:38 AM
I was told, am trying to think of who said it, that Corner Pizzeria was absolutely a Big Mama and Papas pizza place and that the name change was to not alert the ER neighbors who by and large do not want a chain store. Will try to find the source. In the meantime, the ad JErry found on line is a lie, since they opened way more recent than ten years ago! An I gotta to say, anyplace called BJ's is too crass to frequent. I don't even like saying the name.
rebecca niederlander October 19, 2012 at 04:43 AM
OMG, seriously? The I'm-from-NYC-and-your-pizza-sucks post?
EagleRockMom October 19, 2012 at 05:04 AM
I'd prefer an empty storefront to what's coming with this pizza chain.
MissGuinness October 19, 2012 at 06:56 AM
Lol Welcome to ER, Dspencer! This is what you get, an angry mob. Hey, I'll try them out one evening. Just hoping the pizza isn't greasy. And if the Kapouri recipe is identical, then kudos to them! Beer and a Kapouri? Welcome!
julian martinez October 19, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Just to clarify, folks - this will NOT be a BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse! Rest assured that it's not a national chain coming to infiltrate your local neighborhood. Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria does have multiple locations, but they are ALL in Los Angeles area (with exception of a single outlier in Vegas). Big Mama's started as a mom-and-pop shop in LA and has only recently been blessed enough to have success to start expanding in LA, which is what all local restaurants strive for. Big Mama's will still have the khachapuri you've all grown to love, as well as the usual beer & wine to go with your pizza, just like at the other locations. And Big Mama's will take over the 5 Line bar, which will serve as their very FIRST full bar! So the author's reference to being modeled on the BJ's franchise is misleading. Big Mama's is still keeping it local, so stop by and give them a try! Julian Big Mama's Social Media Team
EagleRockMom October 20, 2012 at 01:23 AM
@Julian Big Mama's may have started out as a mom and pop, but now it is a chain. Why not expand in Glendale?
Jerry Langford October 20, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Julian, thanks for the info! Do you know the status of the liquor license for the bar, and what's going on with parking? Those are the pressing questions people here seem to have.
Marcus October 21, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I don't know if ALL pizza is bad in Eagle Rock, but Brownstone's always landed a tasty one for me. But I know that Casa Bianca is beloved by many. Not so keen on their greasy one but hey, thats taste for ya. I'm hoping sometime that we'll see a rise in good gluten free pizza menus.
julian martinez October 22, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Please note that I'm taking all of your comments and feedback to the rest of our team, so if you have any other questions, please feel free to message me here or via email at socialmedia@bigmamaspizza.com. I'm hear to listen to any of your feedback. I want to assure everyone that we are committed to being a contributing member of the community. We welcome the opportunity to support the local community with fundraisers and sponsorships. So if there are ways for us to contribute, please feel free to contact me directly (socialmedia@bigmamaspizza.com). As for the status of the liquor license and the parking situation, I'll look into those two issues and get back to you with an update. If there are any other questions, please let me know. Thank you for your time and attention. Julian
Valerie Ozeta October 23, 2012 at 06:40 AM
cant wait to see if they can get a pizza margharita right. ala napolitano...
julian martinez November 16, 2012 at 07:22 PM
To all that are concerned, I just want to circle back with you regarding your issues with our new Eagle Rock location. RE: parking, we are working with the city to figure out what needs to be done to address parking concerns. Currently, we are monitoring the traffic to determine what the parking needs will be and will make a decision once we have a better idea. As for the full liquor license, management has confirmed that we are approximately 1-1.5 months away from completing the full bar. We hope to have it up and serving drinks before the New Year=) Thank you all for your interest, we hope you give us a chance to be a contributing member of the Eagle Rock community! Sincerely, Julian Big Mama's Social Media Manager
Erin January 01, 2013 at 01:10 AM
Geez... so much negativity. If you go in and actually talk to the owner they are kind and helpful. Our family went to corner pizza and now Big Mama's. If you had asked you would know that the reason Corner Pizza had the same basic menu is because they modeled Corner pizza after Big mama's as the owner used to own a Big mama's franchise. The pizza is delicious. The slices are perfect for a family of 4 who all like different toppings. They have vegan cheese which enables me to enjoy pizza. And why does anyone care about the parking? Anyways... I couldn't believe how negative everyone was and had to post my support.
Aro January 05, 2013 at 04:51 AM
Thank you Erin. Aro
julian martinez January 16, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Thank you ALL for the support, questions, interest in our Eagle Rock location! We are proud to announce that the Pizzeria is having its soft opening this week, with the FULL BAR (!!) "5 Line at BMPP" tentatively scheduled for May 15 opening! We will be organizing a Grand Opening Event in a few months to introduce ourselves to the neighborhood! Hope to see you soon! Julian Big Mama's Social Media Manager
AM February 05, 2013 at 09:53 PM
I think it's funny how so many people are complaining about a business coming in and "taking over", parking... real issues. It's not Walmart people, the owner SOLD the place, so... Maybe if we all hold hands and stand outside his house he'll tear up the contract and the Goonies won't have to move. Believe me I understand the concerns as I've lived in this neighborhood for 30 years, but nobody complained when Coldstone and Quizno's opened so we could all pay $10 for ice cream and $12 for a sandwich - both of which were NEVER that good to begin with - or the 8 or so Starbuck's within a friggin' 3 mile radius, the countless stores that have closed in the last few years so that all the hipsters moving in from Silverlake could open overpriced "vintage" clothing stores up and down the block. Everyone is elitist about SOMETHING and at the same time hypocritically complains about something else just like it. The solution is simple: DON'T EAT THERE.

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