Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in Center City has garnered a lot of attention for the pay-it-forward spirit of customers who use extra dollar bills and Post-It Notes to help the homeless get a free bite to eat (see here, here, here and here).
It’s the type of place that aligns with Pope Francis’ penchant for reaching out to those in need.
It’s also the type of place — located on 11th Street between Market and Chestnut streets — that finds itself located in papal weekend’s secure vehicle perimeter, on an emergency access road, smack dab between two highly controlled event security zones, according to a map unveiled by Mayor Michael Nutter on Thursday.
All of which begs one important question: Will Rosa’s be able to receive deliveries necessary to feed both kind-hearted and needy customers during the pope’s stay?
We stopped by Rosa’s on Friday to see how things stand.
Mason Wartman, the pizzeria’s owner and founder, assured us that everything will be alright. In fact, he’s hoping papal weekend will showcase the Rosa dynamic to a whole new audience.
“I plan to order everything ahead of time, stocking up on soda and food inventory pretty heavily before the pope comes. I think this will be one of our busiest weekends ever,” said Wartman, noting the vehicle perimeter won’t affect his twice-monthly delivery schedule. “I’m more worried about making sure employees can get here. Most of them live in the city.”
That’s a valid concern, considering that Rosa’s average daily slice tally of 100 to 200 slices could be quickly surpassed when Center City’s streets are filled with hungry, thirsty pilgrims likely to appreciate the business’ notion of kindness.
“It’s definitely good for the city to be showcased like this,” said Wartman. “I hope the pope stops by when he’s here. I think he’d like what we’re all about.”