Friday, January 17, 2014

Riccardo Ullio Bringing Pizza Back to Dunwoody

The Estiva pizza from Fritti 
Riccardo Ullio of U Restaurants is bringing a new pizza concept to Dunwoody.

Novo Pizza will be located in a freestanding building within Dunwoody Hall shopping center on Chamblee Dunwoody Road.  The space is just over 2500 square feet and will reportedly have a roughly 1500 square foot dining room with additional seating on its enclosed patio with planned retractable doors.

Most recently the Novo space was Peter's of Dunwoody, but it was originally a Pizza Hut.  In between, another local restaurant, High Cotton, operated in the space and was for a time, quite popular.  Dunwoody Hall is anchored by Publix (originally Big Star) and also has an inline Moe's Southwest Grill as well.

Novo will reportedly be a more casual version of Ullio' popular Inman Park pizza restaurant, Fritti.  At Fritti, pizzas average about $15 at dinner and are 12".  Sources say that Novo pizzas will be priced around 7 or 8 bucks and I'd guess they measure around 9".

Plans call for Novo to open in April.  

U Restaurants currently includes Fritti and Sotto Sotto in Inman Park, and Escorpion on Peachtree in midtown.

In brief research, I found one nearly identically named pizza shop, Novo Pizzeria and Wine Bar in Vancouver that hopefully won't cause Ullio any immediate problems, unless of course he plans to replicate and turn the concept international in the near future.

Atlanta-based Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint, a fast growing chain of "fast casual" pizza shops, already has a location in Dunwoody at the Walmart anchored Perimeter Village shopping center on Ashford-Dunwoody Road.   Maddio's Dunwoody opened in 2012 and offers Subway-style 9" pizzas for about 7 bucks.

Not far away, in Roswell, restaurateurs Hicham Azhari and Fikret Kovac of F&H Food Trading Group plan to open a new casual pizza restaurant, Fix, later this spring.  The new restaurant will be near the group's other Roswell eateries: Opulent, Salt Factory Pub and Little Alley Steak.  Fix will open on Elizabeth Way, just off Canton Street, in a space most recently occupied by Historic Roswell Chiropractic.

I'm personally not the biggest fan of Maddio's and am looking forward to the offerings from both U Restaurants as well as F&H.  

What are your thoughts on "fast casual" or "casual" but gourmet pizza?  Are you, like many, salivating at the idea of a Chipotle-backed pizza concept (Pizzeria Locale) or are you a Dunwoody resident thrilled with the idea of a casual, but gourmet pizza shop in your backyard?  

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Tried Maddio's recently and it is fine for the price. I find the crust/dough to be a little tough but overall it's a good option for under $10.

Also - a UFC branded gym is opening next to Maddio's in Dunwoody. They were moving equipment in the other day. Interesting location for that gym. The UFC crowd doesn't strike me as one that is concentrated in Dunwoody but maybe it will draw people to it.

Anonymous said...

As a Dunwoody resident, the idea of casual, gourmet pizza is fantastic.
I think it will be great!!

Anonymous said...

As a Dunwoody resident, the idea of casual, gourmet pizza place is fantastic.
I think it will be great!!

Anonymous said...

What we need in Dunwoody is a fine dining restaurant, and Peter's was very good. It would still be there if the landlord hadn't doubled the rent, which makes you wonder. How is a pizza place, with down scale pricing, going to make it at double the rent of a white table cloth restaurant that couldn't? Prediction: out of business in two years.

Anonymous said...

Mellow Mushroom is across the street...

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