/Our Story
Our Story2018-01-23T19:48:39+00:00
1950 1950
1998 1998
2003 2003
2010 2010
2014 2014
2015 2015
2017 2017
2018 2018

1950

Our story begins many decades ago with our founder’s (Dean Bastian) family love affair with pizza. Dean’s father discovered pizza while overseas for WWII and brought the concept back to his family, making pizzas in their home for years, continually perfecting the craft.

1998

Following his father’s love for travel and pizza, founder Dean Bastian visits Naples, Italy where he is further inspired to share his love for Italian cuisine.

2003

In need of a wood fire oven to begin cooking up the future, Dean Bastian builds his own from scratch where all great things in the South begin – the backyard.

2010

Fast forward to 2010 after Dean and his wife relocated to Knoxville, TN and started Hard Knox Pizzeria with no real experience in the hospitality and restaurant business. Since then Dean’s passion for great pizza and relentless desire to introduce Knoxville to his own brand of authentic “Neo-Neapolitan” pizza has produced a thriving business in the heart of Knoxville’s Bearden district.

2014

Paul and Alexa Sponcia, along with Dimpal Patel, purchased the majority ownership of HKP and began the process of expanding, promoting, engaging in the community and upgrading the brand.

2015

Hard Knox developed The School of Hard Knox, a concept engaging the local community, our under-resourced schools and communities and local chefs in food service exposure, and education for the purpose of providing opportunities, hope and careers to our youth in Knoxville.

2017

In 2017 the ownership group renovated and expanded the existing Bearden store doubling in size and expanding the catering and service capacities of Hard Knox.

2018

As a growing success in our first location in the West Knoxville / Bearden area, Hard Knox decides to create a SECOND location in the Hardin Valley area! Excited to begin this new journey, we welcome you to visit both locations. We are sure to have a fresh pizza selection for both you and your family to enjoy!