Jeff, Chris, and Jason Bajalieh didn’t set out to win a bunch of awards when they opened Slice Pizza & Brew. According to the brothers, “Slice originated as a place not just to eat, but to hang out.” That spirit of building community around good food has grown beyond Slice’s brick-paved patio, spilling out into the streets of Birmingham’s Lakeveiw District with its annual SliceFest—a day-long celebration of music, food and friendship featuring nine musical acts, seven specialty pizzas, lots of local beers and a late-night fireworks show.

That dedication to good food and good times has paid off in a big way for the Brothers Bajalieh. Birmingham Magazine’s readers have given Slice the Best Pizza award on several occasions, they were named emerging business of the year by the Birmingham Business Alliance, and Slice has been selected one of the 100 largest independent pizza operations in America by Pizza Today magazine. And in 2013 the restaurant reported $2.1 million in sales.

Not too shabby for “a place to hang out.”

You can go just about anywhere in Birmingham and find a decent pizza from a locally owned business, but if you swing by Slice you’ll notice a couple things:

One: The owners have absolutely succeeded in creating an inviting place to spend a lunch break or a long, lazy Saturday afternoon.

Two: Something called the Soul Pie which features turnip greens, black eye peas, Conecuh sausage, grilled red onion, bacon, pepper jack and cheddar cheese. You’ll probably be intimidated by a pizza that boasts your favorite meat-and-three selections as toppings, but trust us, it’s incredible.