|The new Varasano's marked by the orange with white border stretches to just beyond the third window|
Varasano's getting close to opening in Dunwoody, Alpharetta is next
Atlanta-based Varasano's Pizzeria plans to open its new concept location at Perimeter Mall in late June. In addition to the new 5,200 square foot location at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody, the growing company plans to open another similar location at North Point Mall in Alpharetta.
The new Varasano's at Perimeter will adopt a fast casual sports bar-type atmosphere with thirty large TVs and two semi-private "living rooms" for watching games. In addition, the restaurant will feature a private speakeasy that will allow smoking. As an added bonus, the restaurant will have a full bar just outside the restaurant in the main mall area where the mall's guest services was previously located. The guest services department, once outsourced to "Corporate Concierge Services," has been eliminated from the mall entirely. The bar itself was built off property and will be installed in the coming weeks.
The pizzeria's 4,200 square foot space at North Point Mall will be on the main level, opposite the American Girl Boutique & Bistro. The space is currently home to the mall's office and a smaller tenant. The mall office and affected tenant will be relocated to other space within the mall. The new Varasano's will also have an outdoor patio for dining. Plans call for the Varasano's at North Point to open sometime late in the fourth quarter of this year or early in the first quarter of next year.
The entrance where Varasano's will open is one of the most trafficked in the mall as a result of its proximity to the American Girl boutique. I can personally attest that many out-of-towners make the trek (from intown and out of state) to North Point Mall just to take their little girls to the American Girl Boutique.
The Varasano's at Perimeter Mall was first announced last summer and was supposed to have opened last fall. After encountering a number of unforseen issues related to the restaurant's buildout, partner Brett Holtzclaw tells me the restaurant is finally on track.
The Perimeter location will be the template upon which North Point and other future locations will be based. A number of "new and exciting elements" will be available / utilized for guests to make their experience as unique as possible. A living herb wall and wine tap will be among the special touches at the new restaurant.
Additionally, individual pizzas will start under six bucks with cocktails starting at five.
According to Holtzclaw, Varsanos' new concept has drawn comparisons to the Chipotle Mexican Grill-backed and Denver-based Pizzeria Locale as well as L.A.-based 800 Degrees. Both Pizzeria Locale (two, going on three, units) and 800 Degrees (ten units) offer higher quality, Neapolitan style pizzas, and are seen as higher end brands than the likes of Pie Five Pizza Co. and Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint.
Varasano's plans to differentiate itself from other fast casual pizza joints by offering a higher quality pie at an affordable price and in a more welcoming / exciting atmosphere. Dunwoody is already home to Your Pie at Perimeter Place and Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint at Perimeter Village. It's unknown what exactly the concept will be, but Novo, a new more casual Italian eatery from Riccardo Ullio, is also coming to the area, but in Dunwoody Village. Replacing what was originally built as a Pizza Hut, Novo has also been plagued by delays but will reportedly open "soon." (I was unable to confirm a date, but sources indicate it should open in the next month or so.)
Last year, Varasano's inked a "strategic partnership" with Chicago-based General Growth Properties that will give them lucrative leasing opportunities near mall entrances. GGP operates over 120 properties including North Point Mall, Perimeter Mall and Cumberland Mall in metro Atlanta. Although no lease has been announced at Cumberland Mall, its proximity to the new Braves stadium make it a likely candidate to receive a Varsano's location.
The existing full service Varsano's Pizzeria is located on Peachtree Road in the lobby of the Mezzo residence building. A second Varasano's is located at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Are you excited for the upcoming new Varasano's? Where would you like to see the next Varasano's open? What fast casual pizza joint is your favorite?
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