Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Popular Restaurateurs Bringing "Chef Driven" Pizza to Historic Downtown Roswell

Casual pizza is coming to historic downtown Roswell.

Restaurateurs Hicham Azhari and Fikret Kovac of F&H Food Trading Group plan to open a new fast casual pizza restaurant early next year.  The new restaurant will be near the group's other Roswell eateries: Opulent, Salt Factory Pub and Little Alley Steak. Opening on Elizabeth Way, just off Canton Street, the new restaurant will replace what was most recently Historic Roswell Chiropractic.

A name for the eatery has not yet been decided but the restaurant will be chef driven and feature two brick ovens.  The restaurant will also feature canned beers and select wines in addition to triple filtered water for use in their pizzas.

The "traditional Italian" pizzas will not be your typical pies, with a source mentioning sous-vide pineapple, grilled pistachios and assorted pestos as some of the likely topping and sauce options.

Early intel, apparently from someone within F&H, indicated the concept would be "fast casual" pizza, I've now confirmed that was an unfortunate and incorrect description.  The new pizza shop will be nothing like Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint, the Atlanta-based fast casual pizzeria.  Uncle Maddio's offers a variety of pizzas with optional customization for about eight bucks. The pizzas are shot through an oven similar to what one might find in a Subway restaurant, and are of low quality in my honest opinion, but hey, for eight bucks, what do you expect?

F&H will offer counter service at their pizza shop and its pizzas will likely be in the mid to high teens. The goal is not to replicate Antico or be super chainy like Maddio's, but more in the middle, approachable, casual yet still original and good.

Early word is that the group hopes to have the new pizza restaurant open by early next year which I would guess gets them open around late March  / early April.  After months of delays, the group's second Salt Factory Pub in downtown Alpharettta, is slated to open Monday October 14th.  


Billy said...

Everything these guys do turns to gold. Even turning the popular Inc. into Opulent has proven to be a good move based on the people overflowing out of the restaurant every weekend.

It does seem strange to have a pizza place right there when Diesel Pizza is a stone's throw away though. Not that Diesel has great pizza, but it's not bad and they always have live music, good craft beer, sports on the TV's, and it's one of the few family-friendly restaurants right there. It seems like Azhari and Kovac would go with a design concept similar to Double Zero to differentiate themselves from a place like Diesel but it doesn't sound like that's what they are doing if it's casual and approachable.

Anyway, pretty much anything that opens in historic Roswell is a success these days so I'm sure it will do great. And they are the rockstars of Roswell.

Robbie said...

Sous-vide pineapple? This needs to stop. It's getting absurd.

Billy said...

I guess the fancy toppings and chef-driven part of the concept makes it different as well.

Anonymous said...

I think Uncle Maddio's pizza is delicious. Not high-brow artisan, certainly, but it's still high quality ingredients and tastes good. That's what's great about Atlanta — you can have good fast casual pizzerias and good chef-driven pizzerias and the community supports them both.

Anonymous said...

I was a huge fan of Inc. but not so much Opulent. If it is working out for F&H, great but I would have preferred the different style food of Inc. Anyway, now a pizza place...could be interesting assuming it is worth the money. The success of these restaurants shows how much demand there is in historic Roswell.

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