Two-Minute Pies Makes Fast Casual ‘Pizza Studio’ … Fast!

Pizza Studio plans to open two personalized fast casual pizza restaurants this month. It’s a gourmet pizza-quick-casual-create-your-own pizza-cooked-in-two-minutes concept. They will be the first locations for the company in the DC and Baltimore metro areas. The DC store will open in Dupont Circle where Baja Fresh was. The Baltimore location is in Charles Village near the Johns Hopkins University campus. The principals, who now reside in California, have local connections – Samit Varma used to live in Rockville and partner Ron Biskin lived in Owings Mills.

Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises loves the DC metro area and has plans to open a few more restaurants in 2015 including Summer House Santa Monica in N. Bethesda at Pike & Rose. It’s a California-inspired American restaurant — not to be confused with Summer House in Rehoboth Beach, Del. Stella Barra Pizzeria, serving artisanal pizza, small plates and handcrafted pastries and breads is also slated for Pike & Rose. RPM, a modern chef-driven steakhouse will open in DC. Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak and Stone Crab is their most recent entry into the DC market, as they celebrate one year the end of January.

Will the new restaurant that Jose Andres will open at the new Trump International Hotel, (where the Old Post Office was) be anything like his Bazaar at SLS Hotel in LA? That concept takes over much of the lobby and has various rooms that make up the entire dining experience. Stay tuned.

Jose Garces may be opening a 20,000 sq.ft. market that will offer a range of Latin groceries and prepared foods in NE DC’s NoMa neighborhood. It will be located in a new 520-unit residential building. It’s not the Philadelphia-based chef’s first venture in this market, as he opened Rural Society in the Loews Madison Hotel last summer.

Quick Hits: Charlottesville-based Greenberry’s coffee shop plans to open in downtown DC on the corner of 18th and E St. NW … Potomac’s Grilled Oyster Co. will open a 4100-sq.ft. seafood restaurant at the new Cathedral Commons development on Wisconsin Avenue NW. The original location is at Cabin John Mall in Montgomery Co. … Liam LaCavita, former chef at Liberty Tavern and its sister restaurants, plans to open Bar Civita in Woodley Park where Murphy’s was at 2609 24th St. NW. The restaurant will serve Modern American food. A Q1 2015 opening is planned.

David Guas’ Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington is opening a second location in DC at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Renovation of a two-story carriage house, translates to a 53-seat restaurant on the first floor and a kitchen on the second floor with seating for 36 in the summer garden.

Chef Update: Frank Ruta, formerly of the now closed Palena takes over as head chef of The Grill Room at the Capella Hotel in Georgetown. His pastry chef from Palena, Aggie Chin, will join him at Capella. Will Greenwood will be taking over at Elizabeth’s Gone Raw in DC.

Openings Update: China Chilcano in Penn Quarter is slated to open in early January, featuring Peruvian dishes with influences from Creole, Chinese and Japanese cuisines. And pisco – lots of it … Tadich Grill is now expecting to open in late February/early March.

About the Author

Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, Inc. specializing in marketing, promotions and publicity in the hospitality industry. Contact Linda at 202-888-3571 or or visit her website at

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