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Ashley Christensen downtown Raleigh restaurant will close to make way for new concept

After a four year run, Ashley Christensen’s downtown Raleigh pizzeria will close late next month.

The Neapolitan-style pizzeria Poole’side Pies will close permanently after its last service Dec. 23, Christensen announced in an email Tuesday morning.

“We’re sad to announce that Poole’side Pies will close its doors after service on December 23,” Christensen said in an emailed statement. “This was not an easy decision but it’s one we’ve made carefully and in response to our community’s ever-evolving needs.”

Poole’side opened to much fanfare and excitement in the summer of 2019. The pizzeria opened next door to Christensen’s flagship restaurant Poole’s Diner, and specialized in pies cooked in a high-heat wood-burning oven.

Christensen’s hospitality group AC Restaurants owns the Poole’side Pies building and the chef said that while the pizzeria will close, another concept will move in soon.

“Poole’side Pies might be leaving, but *we’re* not going anywhere,” Christensen said. “We’re excited to get to work on a new restaurant to fill this unique space and will share it with you in the months to come.”

The Poole’side dining room took its design cues from a dreamy idea of a pool party, with signs advising “no diving” on the white tiled walls. The menu included many classic and inventive pizzas, including more recently a white pie with smoked potatoes, plus a popular pickle juice Caesar salad and Macaroni frittatine, essentially fried balls of Christensen’s famous mac and cheese with red sauce for dipping.

In a statement, Christensen pointed to the challenges the new restaurant faced amid a global pandemic before Poole’side had even reached its first year, surviving on curbside and takeout.

The restaurant will have a month-long farewell tour leading up to Christmas.