Prospective Barracks Row Pizza Venue Offers More Details
Menu to Offer Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Vegan Options
by Larry Janezich
Wednesday, Steve Salis, founder and CEO of what may be a chain of pizza restaurants, revealed some additional details regarding his prospective Barracks Row pizza operation.
Salis is seeking an exception to the ban on additional fast food restaurants on Barracks Row, and has launched a campaign to help create public support for the exception. To that end, he has addressed an open letter to the community (see below), released a rendering of what the outlet might look like (as above), and structured a menu to provide options for customers with dietary restrictions: i.e., gluten free crust for gluten intolerants, vegan options with regards to sauce and toppings, and lactose options regarding a dairy free cheese substitute.
Some of those who he will have to win over are the nearby neighbors of Hill Center, who are still smarting from Hill Center’s refusal to make concessions affecting their quality of life issues. And, although ANC6B granted Chipotle Mexican Grill an exception, that action was viewed as trading one previous fast food restaurant (China Wall) for a new one. Salis faces the tougher task of convincing the ANC to make a true exception, granting a new license for an location adjoining Chiptole which is technically in the same building.
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.
Salis said, “I think Barracks Row is a street with a lot of soul. It has great energy, it’s vibrant, and is taking seriously by the community. The 400 block in particular, lends my business a unique opportunity to take part in revitalizing an area that needs to be upgraded with concepts … that bring quality, sophistication, and innovation….”
His letter to the community follows:
Dear Capitol Hill Community, October 11, 2011
I am writing today in response to all of the much-appreciated feedback that I have received with regards to my intentions of opening a dining establishment at 415 8th Street SE. Your comments will continue to play a critical role in my pursuits of joining your neighborhood.
My vision for this concept involves a fresh dining experience at a very affordable cost. Patrons will be presented with the ability to create a customized gourmet pizza using a variety of carefully sourced, fresh ingredients including gluten free, lactose free, and vegan options for those with dietary restrictions. This is not a pizza slice shop, therefore delivery service will not be offered. We are simply looking to provide a top quality product, while focusing on time efficiency and affordability, where the average family of four can enjoy a healthy meal for approximately $30. In addition, I have taken into account socially responsible environmental practices with regards to packaging, store build-out and design.
Aesthetically, the restaurant will embody a clean, simple and inviting feel deriving inspiration from the fresh produce that we offer. With 35-40 seats in our dining area, Capitol Hill families and professionals will be able to enjoy their personalized product on location.
Capitol Hill & Barracks Row exudes a vibrancy and sense of community that has piqued my interest in launching the business in this neighborhood. I have had discussions with other restaurant operators currently on the block regarding neighborhood sensitivities, and have already put forth action in addressing operational concerns, such as: pest control and trash management. I look forward to presenting my plans for handling these issues to your community in the near future.
Attached is a rendering of the store; please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and/or concerns. I look forward to opening my doors to you this coming spring.
With great respect,
Founder & CEO
Ima Pizza LLC