Metro Pizza's latest location in the northwest is gearing up to open. Co-owner John Arena was in the kitchen baking bread to get the recipes just right yesterday.
The new 11,500-square-foot restaurant will look identical to the Green Valley outpost. It also includes a new bakery, Lulu's Bread & Breakfast, where baked goods will be sold. That area, with ceramic tiles that mock wooden floors and a serpentine communal table, will open three to four weeks after Metro Pizza. Here, Arena plans to offer artisanal breads from a hearth oven from Italy for all six Metro Pizza outlets. He tapped Chris Hanmer, who won Season 2 of Top Chef Just Desserts and owns the School of Pastry Design, to create the dessert menu as well as offer baking classes.
Yesterday, Arena was in the kitchen working with the bread oven he's pined for since 2001 straight out of Italy.
The location will also created all the dough for each Metro Pizza outpost. A massive Italian mixing machine simulates hand mixing for a gentle touch with the dough. "We make 3,000 pounds of dough a day without this location," Arena says.
All of the chairs and tables are in the restaurant, as well as custom light fixtures, including two chandeliers that echo the red lights that bedeck Mulberry Street in New York during the San Gennaro Feast.
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