Right off of I-79, Mia Margherita and Mia Market are drawing customers from around the state.

“It all began with the idea that we wanted to open an authentic pizzeria,” Scott Duarte says. Duarte is the founder and co-owner of Mia Margherita—one of the only coal-fired pizzerias in West Virginia and a relatively new addition to the burgeoning Charles Pointe development in Bridgeport. The restaurant combines the region’s heritage of Italian immigration and coal mining in an unexpected way—with food.

Each morning, the Mia Margherita staff lights a fire in the pizza oven that burns throughout the day, using 80 to 120 pounds of coal. They use anthracite coal that burns clean and extremely hot, cooking a pizza in just two to three minutes.

Duarte says Mia Margherita’s coal-fired oven celebrates pizza in its original intention. “The intensity of the heat allows you to produce a very light, crispy, Neapolitan-style pizza,” he says. In addition to pizzas, Mia Margherita serves a variety of other Italian dishes, like panini and pasta. Try the Coal Fired Lemoncello Chicken Wings with a pint of West Virginia-brewed beer during happy hour, or the soup—all of which is made from scratch in-house—and half-panini for lunch. Within six months of opening, Mia Margherita was awarded the 2014 New Business of the Year by the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce. Duarte credits the staff for the restaurant’s early success, saying they “worked hard from the get-go.”

The decadent desserts at Mia Margherita—like this hazelnut cheesecake—come from local bakery Almost Heaven Desserts. Capitalizing on local resources is important to Duarte, who says they even scouted local architecture for inspiration when

designing the interior of the restaurant.

This summer, Scott opened a new upscale deli, wine shop, and café next door called Mia Market. It’s a natural extension of Mia Margherita, and all of its food-to-go orders will be handled through the market. Mia Market has quickly become the place to go for a cup of coffee, a quick bite, a slice of pizza, or that hard to find Italian cheese. You can even create a custom gift basket, choosing from Mia’s extensive selection of craft beer and wines.

Mia Margherita & Mia Market, 139 Conference Center Way, Suite 137, Bridgeport, 304.808.6400, miamargherita.com

written by Shay Maunz | photographed by Carla Witt Ford

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