NY Entrepreneur Looks to Open Upscale Pizza Outlet on Barracks Row – Seeks Exception To Ban on Fast Food Restaurants

NY Entrepreneur Looks to Open Upscale Pizza Outlet on Barracks Row – Seeks Exception To Ban on Fast Food Restaurants

by Larry Janezich

Steve Salis, a New York-based entrepreneur with four years of experience in hospitality management, consulting, and event production, announced at last night’s ANC6B meeting that he has begun the process of seeking an exception to the establishment of a fast food restaurant on Barracks Row.  He termed the restaurant – which would be at 415 8th Street in the space formerly occupied by China Wall – “a quick-casual pizza concept featuring made to order personal pizzas.”  The concept is similar to that of Chipotle Mexican Grill, which would be next door.  This is the first restaurant in what Salis hopes will be a fast-casual pizza chain.

Subsequently, Salis said, “[w]e are a fast-casual pizza concept; focused on creating customizable made to order personal gourmet pizzas, using top quality fresh ingredients. We are not in the slice game or in the take-out/delivery business. Our goal is to bring a high quality product to the customer in a timely manner.”  He estimates that ten percent of the business will be carryout.

Salis won’t reveal the name of the new establishment since it is undergoing the trademarking process.  He said he would like to serve beer and wine but understands the sensitivities in the neighborhood, “so there are some things what would have to be worked out.”  If everything goes according to plan, the restaurant could open in spring of 2012.

Mr. Salis worked for top hospitality clients before starting his own hospitality and marketing company in 2006, serving as a consultant to such organizations as China Grill Management, Riese Restaurant Corporation, and Food Scope.  He is currently a managing partner in a successful West Village boutique bar called Su Casa, where he personally handles the operations, marketing, and promotion of the business. He is also a partner and executive producer of This Is Burlesque, a riotous and racy supper club show, proclaimed “The best of Burlesque” (AM NY).


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14 responses to “NY Entrepreneur Looks to Open Upscale Pizza Outlet on Barracks Row – Seeks Exception To Ban on Fast Food Restaurants

  1. elizabeth eby

    Good to have a new player in the bar and grill department.

  2. Lee Berger

    Do we really need another pizza place?

  3. David Healy

    Perhaps a retail shop should be the condition for any further food & beverage operations on Barracks Row.

  4. RT

    David… so we are limited to a Hard Rock Cafe or Hooters? I can’t think of many restaurants with a retail component.

  5. TOMBA

    Thank god that Chineese place is gone, probably the worst food i have ever had, reminded me of the fort totten Dump!!

  6. HIllwoman

    Don’t worrry. The chances are slim that a non-Cervera restaurant will be approved by the ANC anyway.

  7. Caroline

    The title is misleading… 7th Hill and Matchbox are “upscale pizza”, but this sounds like something different. I think the “build your own pizza” concept is a good fit for the neighborhood since it will go over really well with kids. Personally, I’d prefer a regular pizza place that makes really good pizza– I still haven’t found that in DC– but I’d still welcome this restaurant.

    I am having a hard time figuring out how only 10% of the sales will be carryout. That China Wall space can’t fit that many tables.

  8. Rob

    china wall was great. their gen tso’s was the best on the hill and they hand-made their onion rings, which were the best in the city. the place looked like crap, but the food was surprisingly good.

  9. Eric K

    I’m not sure how retail should be a requirement, Ben. Do you mean that before there can be any further food & beverage operations a retail store must open somewhere on 8th street to offset it, or do you mean any food & beverage place should be required to have retail, too? Both sound like a pretty good way to kill futher development on 8th Street. Brick and mortar retail in on the decline everywhere, largely due to internet shopping and lower profit margins. For better or worse, I think we’re just going to have to get used to restaurants being the norm for brick and mortar businesses.

  10. Steve Salis

    Hello all,

    Please feel free to email me via email: steve@324corp.com with any questions or concerns, I would be happy to address them. Your support
    in this endeavor is greatly appreciated.


  11. Tom

    The story begins by saying he has four years of “Hospitality experience”. Later it says he worked for top hospitality clients before 2006. I don’t know, it just doesn’t add up for me. I am a transplanted New Yorker who isn’t interested in a trendy pizza place by a guy from a West Village “Boutique Bar”, whatever the hell that is who is also in the burlesque business. It all sounds pretentious. The 10% figure seems drawn from thin air.

  12. Claire

    Tom, it sounds like the information you are referring to seems outdated.

    I have had the pleasure of knowing Steve (pizza founder) for quite a while. And pretentious is not a word that I would use to describe him. He is one of the most well accomplished, talented, thoughtful young entreprenuers out there and his resume and experience speaks for itself. He would be an inspiration to many young aspiring business owners here in DC. The locals should embrace his knowledge and passion to a block that needs a boost.

  13. Kathy

    I am thrilled that people like Mr Salis are seleceting our community as the place they would like to invest their hard earned dollars. Mr. Salis appears to be reaching out to all of us in a way that we do not see very often which is refreshing and appreciated. If it is any indication on how whe will conduct business, I am excited to welcome him as my neighbor. Good luck Steve and I hope to be dining in your restaurant next Spring!

  14. Tom

    Let me clarify what I mean by pretentious:: calling a bar a “boutique bar”, the press clips on their website with characters from Real Housewives and Jersey Shore, charging three to four hundred for bottles of alcohol (according to their website), etc.Using a phrase like “the locals” is condescending and sums it up for me. If it works out fine, but as a “local” I’m not sure why people would act as if someone opening a restaurant is a magnanimous gesture toward we poor deprived people on the Hill. The “Block” won’t have any problems getting a boost, Eighth street has become quite desirable. If it wasn’t he wouldn’t not only be looking to locate there but seek an exception.
    I expect my dollars are as hard earned as anyone else’s.