With the "better burger" trend starting to fade, the owners of Mooyah are exploring the hottest new restaurant craze: pizza. They will open a new restaurant concept called Pie Tap Pizza Workshop + Bar.
For their first branch, they've scored a prime location on Henderson Avenue, in a newly constructed space next to the
M Street Veterinary Clinic Vickery Place Animal Hospital. Founder Rich Hicks says that the targeted opening date is in early 2015.
The menu hasn't been finalized, but Pie Tap will definitely serve pizza and beer, with delivery being a central component. Their hoped-for delivery model is unique, with a kind of dual identity of sit-down restaurant and to-go outlet that will allow for delivery not just of pizza but also wine and beer.
Hicks developed the concept with chef Giovanni Mauro, with whom he worked at Brinker. Mauro is the founder of Old School Pizzeria, a well-rated Las Vegas spot noted for pizza with elevated toppings such as housemade sausage.
Their pizza will be artisanal but not Neapolitan, Hicks says. "I like what Cane Rosso does, but our product will be different," he says. "Our crust will be more crispy than a Neapolitan-style pizza."
In addition to pizza, they'll do sandwiches, salads and gelato, which they'll make in-house. The bar will serve wine, beer and craft cocktails. The atmosphere will be industrial, to approximate the feeling of a warehouse.
One factor in their opening date depends on a pair of special ovens that are being built to order.
"They revolve," Hicks says. "They're being built in Italy from the only manufacturer that does what I need them to do. Those will be arriving in December."