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General Topics => Shop Talk => Topic started by: PizzaDiFiore on March 15, 2011, 04:26:58 PM

Title: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on March 15, 2011, 04:26:58 PM
Hey guys, wanted to introduce myself.  My name is Terry and my wife and I are working on opening a wood fired pizza place in Baltimore.  We're going for Neapolitan style with house made traditional and unique toppings.  We have a great location in an 1800's mill and are looking forward to the build out.  We currently own 2 coffee shops in Downtown Baltimore and I have recently owned a Diner.  Not a newbie to food service and restaurants, just pizza joints.  Been a home pizzaiolo for some time working on dough and other recipes.

We love pizza, we went to Italy for our honeymoon and visited Naples and Sorrento eating pizza every day!  I've been lurking for the past few months and I just attended Pizza Expo in Vegas 2 weeks ago.



Terry J.
Pizza di Fiore
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: JConk007 on March 15, 2011, 04:41:43 PM
Good Luck Terry!!
Please keep us posted story (Good and Bad and the Ugly) on you journey/process. build out , grand opening ... Have you selected an oven ? dough recipe?
John
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on March 15, 2011, 05:25:43 PM
Good Luck Terry!!
Please keep us posted story (Good and Bad and the Ugly) on you journey/process. build out , grand opening ... Have you selected an oven ? dough recipe?
John

Thanks, I've been working with a dough recipe at home that we absolutely love.  It's a naturally leavened dough using a starter I've been working for a while.  I'm trying to work out the management with the larger scale commercial operation, longer ferment and rise times etc...  The starter gives it a full-bodied taste with minimal sourness by using the starter young.

I'm looking at a couple of ovens, I like the Cirigliano Forni I saw at the Expo, and it helps that they are based out of Maryland as well.  I'm not 100% set, we're still working out the details.  

I worked at Carrabba's as a server and prep cook and worked their pizza station a few times.  They use WoodStone ovens.  I loved it, and it maintained consistent heat.  I really like the CF ovens as they evoke memories of the ovens I saw in Pompeii (brick interior).



 
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 15, 2011, 09:18:24 PM
One of the best pies I've had came out of a CF.

If you don't mind me asking, what do they cost delivered?

Craig
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: widespreadpizza on March 15, 2011, 11:54:21 PM
Craig,  just posted in your thread.  I think you will be in much better shape with your choice.  I too have sat in front on TG's oven,  there was a lot of effort put into cooking the pizzas that night,  and it showed,  not in a good way.  With a great oven,  it should be effortless,  not strenuous.  I am glad you got a good one that night,  but the best are yet to come.  -marc
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: pizzablogger on March 16, 2011, 12:49:56 PM
Terry J, congratulations!

Are you opening in Clipper Mill?

May I ask what type of planning and schematic details for the venting of the oven the city of Baltimore approved? 

After several conversations with them, they told me that coal and wood fired ovens are "discouraged" in Baltimore, but could be used if specific details were given on how the emissions from the oven would be vented away from surrounding residential areas (usually by having the venting higher than surrounding buildings).....with maybe even a prevailing wind study needing to be done by the Maryland Department of the Environment in some cases.

Baltimore has waited for far too long for Neapolitan pizzeria and I'm glad to hear you will be the first out of the gate (another chef in Baltimore is looking for spaces right now).

Good luck the rest of the way and best wishes on everything. :)
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on March 16, 2011, 04:47:45 PM
We're in the planning stages at this point.  Lots of verbal agreements and plans, but everything is still in its infancy.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: mente on March 16, 2011, 09:23:48 PM
good luck! i am in a similar position in Southern Calif and I believe it is all about hiring a pizzailio for this type of product. i believe passion for the pie and hot ovens are key. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to find one in LA and what type of pay do these guys require?
i was at the show too. CF are very nice ovens. this may be a bad way to look at ovens, especially when you don't have one yet, but it is kind of like having a conversation about Chevy vs Ford. it is all about your preference based on price, your personal experience and great forums like this one. some experiences will be great and other will not be so great. i kind of believe this with all the capital expenses that we are about to incur.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: jeffereynelson on March 17, 2011, 05:15:19 PM
Mete- I am from southern california and have eaten at all the neapolitan places there (not that there are many). Where are you thinking to open your restaurant? Also I don't think finding a pizzaiolo and just having them run it is the way to go. Maybe I'm wrong. But most people on here spend years perfecting their pizzas and the art. Farming that part out just seems like a huge a risk and possibly impossible to do. Most famous guys are famous through their own places, Anthony Mangieri and Chris Bianco come to mind right off the top of my head. Once again maybe I'm wrong


Terry- Still waiting for some more updates!
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: JConk007 on March 17, 2011, 05:26:06 PM
Lest we forget our man PF Taylor!
Make me an offer on this baby its a CF! I  think the guy went broke and never opened? I may put it on a trailer and or truck bed. Any thoughts if it could hold up to the rigors of the road. Not going 4 wheeling  :) I imagine they are built quite well.
John
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: mente on March 17, 2011, 05:59:46 PM
Jeffery,
 i understand and agree about the art and perfection. I am coming from the place of growth. if we don't teach the youth of today then where will we be tomorrow. if someone wants to become great pizzaiolo that means that they have to open their own joint? what are the odds of that? spread the knowledge, and the passion will grow. you are not wrong with your statement, but who wants to be famous anyway?!?!?!

side note:
i am looking to buy a gas/wood oven if anyone does know of a good used one, let me know asap. i saw the Italians cook amazing pizza's in them at the Int'l Pizza show 2 weeks ago and frankly, i am not against gas and the option to use gas and wood.
thanks all
 
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on March 17, 2011, 07:21:07 PM
We're trying to figure out the whole Baltimore doesn't like WF Pizza thing right now.  Hopefully we'll have a solid answer soon.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 17, 2011, 08:50:05 PM
I've been in DC for the last week. They certainly seem to like it here. I went to three places and all were packed. Reviews to come in the next couple days.

Craig
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: NJPizzaiolo on March 18, 2011, 11:15:56 PM
Two Amy's is killing it and my friend Dino is opening Pizzeria Di marco any day now in DC.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: othafa9 on March 22, 2011, 05:10:12 PM
Yes, we are opening Pizzeria DaMarco end of April in Bethesda, its been a long time coming.  I was in Fells Point in Baltimore a few days ago, and thought that would be a great place for a Neapolitan Pizza Joint.  BTW if anyone has any interest in learning to make pizza, we are hiring for a few spots!
-Rob
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: BrickStoneOven on March 22, 2011, 05:37:55 PM
Yes, we are opening Pizzeria DaMarco end of April in Bethesda, its been a long time coming.  I was in Fells Point in Baltimore a few days ago, and thought that would be a great place for a Neapolitan Pizza Joint.  BTW if anyone has any interest in learning to make pizza, we are hiring for a few spots!
-Rob

Why did they end up getting a WoodStone? I thought they were supposed to get a Stefano Ferrara oven.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: othafa9 on March 22, 2011, 05:51:17 PM
We did get a Ferrara oven, should start a fire in it in the next day or 2
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: othafa9 on March 22, 2011, 05:53:23 PM
ok, I know what your refering to.  Your talking about the video of Dino?  That video was filmed somewhere in Seattle.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on March 22, 2011, 06:16:31 PM
Baltimore is really picky about WFO's.  It's VERY difficult to get the approval.  They have a very sensitive nuisance policy and will shut you down easily if there are complaints because of smoke or smell.  I don't see what the major issue is.  CA has STRINGENT emission laws, and there are tons of WFO's there.  Trying to get through the approval process now.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: othafa9 on March 22, 2011, 06:37:56 PM
good luck brotha!
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: BrickStoneOven on March 22, 2011, 06:42:58 PM
ok, I know what your refering to.  Your talking about the video of Dino?  That video was filmed somewhere in Seattle.

Thanks for clearing that up. Can we get some pictures of the oven... and maybe a video?
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 22, 2011, 06:49:31 PM
Baltimore is really picky about WFO's.  It's VERY difficult to get the approval.  They have a very sensitive nuisance policy and will shut you down easily if there are complaints because of smoke or smell.  I don't see what the major issue is.  CA has STRINGENT emission laws, and there are tons of WFO's there.  Trying to get through the approval process now.

I wish you the best. The guy I bought the Acunto from sold it because he couldn't get a permit in San Francisco.

Craig
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: othafa9 on March 22, 2011, 07:47:40 PM
Why couldn't he get a permit?  Their are Neapolitan ovens in SF....
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on March 22, 2011, 08:26:39 PM
In Baltimore, WFO's can't be "x" amount of yards from a residence. Even though there are thousands of wood burning fireplaces.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: widespreadpizza on March 22, 2011, 08:32:34 PM
In Baltimore, WFO's can't be "x" amount of yards from a residence. Even though there are thousands of wood burning fireplaces.

I figured out the reasoning behind this sometime ago.  Most people do not burn thier fireplaces in the summer when next door neighbors windows are open.  Yes they may have a bonfire one day a summer and that it tolerable,  but a pizza oven burning all day everyday is a different story.  Not to mention the intoxicating aromas that the neighboring homes have to deal with. -marc
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 22, 2011, 09:21:52 PM
Why couldn't he get a permit?  Their are Neapolitan ovens in SF....

I don't know, and there are lots of things other people have that you can't go out and get a permit for.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: widespreadpizza on March 22, 2011, 10:20:25 PM
Craig,  I forgot to tell you.   I am 99.9% sure your Acunto oven almost ended up being the oven for the new venture in Nashua NH,  Crush Pizza.  Before it got sent here,  with drawings and everything,  the city would not put thier seal of approval on it.  -Marc
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 22, 2011, 10:30:48 PM
I really detest bureaucracy... even when it works out in my favor...
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: chickenparm on March 22, 2011, 10:56:44 PM
I really detest bureaucracy... even when it works out in my favor...

I can imagine...do any of you folks ever get a studied,detailed,straight,factual based answers of their rejection, in writing,if they turn down an oven you want to use?

Or do they simply vote no based on heresay?






Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: TXCraig1 on March 22, 2011, 11:07:17 PM
studied, detailed, straight, factual based... not words I commonly associate with bureaucracy.

I think these sorts of decisions are generally political.

I have a friend who was just turned down for a liquor license. Dozens already in the same area. The locals simply didn't want any more issued. A few weeks ago, I visited with the owner of a winery that had to be built entirely underground because the locals didn't want to see another winery - a few years before, the same folks were clamoring for wineries to be built to help the local economy.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: chickenparm on March 23, 2011, 02:39:01 PM
Craig,
I was kidding around a little bit when I asked about a detailed report,but yeah you are right,those are words that never go hand in hand there.

That reminds me of a joke,I wanted to share here.
 :)

I met a good fairy today that said she would grant me one wish."I want to live forever," I said.

"Sorry," said the fairy, I'm not allowed to grant wishes like that!"

"Fine," I said, "then I want to die after Congress gets their heads out of their asses!"

"You crafty bastard," said the fairy.
 ;D
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: JConk007 on March 23, 2011, 05:34:31 PM
Cute!! and  true!
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: jamester on March 27, 2011, 09:23:55 PM
Hey guys, wanted to introduce myself.  My name is Terry and my wife and I are working on opening a wood fired pizza place in Baltimore.  We're going for Neapolitan style with house made traditional and unique toppings...

Hey Terry, just happened across this thread and will be following with great interest!  I'm in B-more and make pizza, right now as a hobby but with the thought/dream of opening a place myself someday in my area.

I wish you the best of luck, and look forward to trying your pizza...

Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: RichPugh on March 28, 2011, 09:02:22 AM
Hey guys, wanted to introduce myself.  My name is Terry and my wife and I are working on opening a wood fired pizza place in Baltimore.  We're going for Neapolitan style with house made traditional and unique toppings. 

Hey Terry. I own a small Pizzeria Tavern right between Fells Point and Canton on Eastern Ave. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know... just lemme use your oven now and again if you get to move fwd with it ;) Woodberry Kitchen already has their oven. If youre in their area, you should be able to slide by. I hate ordinances haha
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on March 28, 2011, 12:31:28 PM
Hey Terry. I own a small Pizzeria Tavern right between Fells Point and Canton on Eastern Ave. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know... just lemme use your oven now and again if you get to move fwd with it ;) Woodberry Kitchen already has their oven. If youre in their area, you should be able to slide by. I hate ordinances haha

Thanks Rich, been to JRads, good pizza, even better atmosphere!  I'll keep you in mind, just trying to get everything in order before we proceed.  There's no sense to me if I can't get the WFO I want.  The city and state seem to be mostly concerned with the exhaust being a nuisance to the residents.  Fortunately, there really aren't any residents!
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on March 28, 2011, 12:34:14 PM
Thanks Rich, been to JRads, good pizza, even better atmosphere!  I'll keep you in mind, just trying to get everything in order before we proceed.  There's no sense to me if I can't get the WFO I want.  The city and state seem to be mostly concerned with the exhaust being a nuisance to the residents.  Fortunately, there really aren't any residents!


Maybe that didn't come out right.  I REALLY like your pizza!

T.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: pizzablogger on March 29, 2011, 12:29:37 PM
In Baltimore, WFO's can't be "x" amount of yards from a residence. Even though there are thousands of wood burning fireplaces.

That's not entirely true.

I spent a good amount of time dealing with this issue when constructing a business plan and considering opening a pizzeria in Baltimore.

One of the frustrating things is you may get more than one answer, depending on who you are talking to with the city.

The key issue isn't the proximity of the WFO itself to residential buildings, but the proximity of the venting exit point from residential areas (you may have meant this in your post). This is one reason why searching out a building that is taller, or at least as high as, any surrounding residential buildings would be beneficial (assuming you are opening a space in a more dense inner-city location where most buildings are connected). That way, you can increase the height of the venting out of the roof of the building and into an extension on top of the building....so, for example, the actual vent exit point where any smoke comes out could be 15 to 20 feet higher than the surrounding residential buildings.

This is where a prevailing wind study by the Maryland Department of the Environment may potentially be needed to prove that the prevailing wind is not a downdraft that would blow smoke from your high vent exit point downwards towards the residences.

Needless to say, this could require extensive venting/ductwork (length of ducting) which would obviously increase the all-in costs of installing a WFO in a space. Such a tall vent column could potentially cause issues with proper air/flow exhaust out of the oven.

There are obviously many configurations of venting and potential spaces to open a place in....some spaces maybe not needing as much legwork to get the go ahead for a WFO.

Good luck with your new pizzeria. Attention to detail with your plans and persistence in jumping through hoops will lead you to the WFO promised land, in due time. Best of luck! --K :)

Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on March 30, 2011, 06:00:54 PM
That's not entirely true.

I spent a good amount of time dealing with this issue when constructing a business plan and considering opening a pizzeria in Baltimore.

One of the frustrating things is you may get more than one answer, depending on who you are talking to with the city.

The key issue isn't the proximity of the WFO itself to residential buildings, but the proximity of the venting exit point from residential areas (you may have meant this in your post). This is one reason why searching out a building that is taller, or at least as high as, any surrounding residential buildings would be beneficial (assuming you are opening a space in a more dense inner-city location where most buildings are connected). That way, you can increase the height of the venting out of the roof of the building and into an extension on top of the building....so, for example, the actual vent exit point where any smoke comes out could be 15 to 20 feet higher than the surrounding residential buildings.

This is where a prevailing wind study by the Maryland Department of the Environment may potentially be needed to prove that the prevailing wind is not a downdraft that would blow smoke from your high vent exit point downwards towards the residences.

Needless to say, this could require extensive venting/ductwork (length of ducting) which would obviously increase the all-in costs of installing a WFO in a space. Such a tall vent column could potentially cause issues with proper air/flow exhaust out of the oven.

There are obviously many configurations of venting and potential spaces to open a place in....some spaces maybe not needing as much legwork to get the go ahead for a WFO.

Good luck with your new pizzeria. Attention to detail with your plans and persistence in jumping through hoops will lead you to the WFO promised land, in due time. Best of luck! --K :)




Still working on it.  Have a good plan to make this happen.  Hopefully it works out.  I'll fill everyone in when if and when I get my approval.

T.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on April 08, 2011, 03:46:44 PM
Looks like we have the go ahead from the City and State!  It's been a difficult few weeks, back and forth, back and forth!  But I truly believe we're on our way to wood fired goodness in Baltimore!  Now, funding and design!
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: pizzablogger on April 08, 2011, 05:59:39 PM
Looks like we have the go ahead from the City and State!  It's been a difficult few weeks, back and forth, back and forth!  But I truly believe we're on our way to wood fired goodness in Baltimore!  Now, funding and design!

Great news T!

Glad to see you saw it through. Good for you.

Please keep us posted on your progress when you get a chance. --K
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on June 22, 2011, 07:56:03 PM
Investor secured, location secured!  Looking for more $$ and working on designing the site.  So Stoked! 
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: TXCraig1 on June 22, 2011, 09:21:05 PM
How much capital does it take to open a pizza place?

Best of luck to you.

CL
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on June 25, 2011, 11:03:57 PM
Depends on the space.  Does it need to be totally built out?  Does it already have a kitchen, ventilation, adequate restrooms, water, electricity, gas.  LOTS of variables.  For what I'm looking to do, it will cost about $200k-250 for the buildout.  That includes everything including exterior signage.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaBrewer on December 23, 2012, 09:51:11 PM
Howdy!  Did you ever get your pizzeria open in Baltimore?  I'd love to stop in.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on December 26, 2012, 08:25:18 PM
Howdy!  Did you ever get your pizzeria open in Baltimore?  I'd love to stop in.


Unfortunately, no.  Ran into some complications, still working on it though.  Just taking longer than expected.  The original location I had picked was in a severe flood area, and floods a few times a year.  My investor is still in, but then we had some family issues that needed attention.  Scouting locations currently, thinking about the county now instead of Baltimore City, it's getting pretty saturated.  Do you have a place?


Terry
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: Chicago Bob on December 26, 2012, 10:41:11 PM
Depends on the space.  Does it need to be totally built out?  Does it already have a kitchen, ventilation, adequate restrooms, water, electricity, gas.  LOTS of variables.  For what I'm looking to do, it will cost about $200k-250 for the buildout.  That includes everything including exterior signage.
Hey Terry,
I hope you're able to find a location and soon be able to open up your own pizza restaurant. If you don't mind, could you please take a moment and explain how a lease works when one is doing the type of very expensive "buildout" you were facing with the property you were formerly contemplating. Thanks alot.
Bob
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on December 27, 2012, 08:52:56 PM
Hey Terry,
I hope you're able to find a location and soon be able to open up your own pizza restaurant. If you don't mind, could you please take a moment and explain how a lease works when one is doing the type of very expensive "buildout" you were facing with the property you were formerly contemplating. Thanks alot.
Bob


Most developers/landlords want you to be successful.  They want your business to thrive, so they can have a guaranteed income and attract additional quality lessees.  In this case, many landlords (not all) will allow you to build-out/renovate your restaurant space rent free, as long as it's an agreed to amount of time.  Many landlords will also give you the first few months rent free to help compensate for the build out and until the word starts to spread. 

The developer I was working with was awesome.  Hands down, if I didn't back away from the location, I would have definitely been open by now.  He liked me, liked my ideas and my concept.  That isn't always true. The space I liked was an old warehouse.  It needed a complete buildout.  There was no plumbing, electric, or AC.  With a 7000+ square ft space, I was looking at a potential $150k build expense.  And the developer was willing to commit to another $100k in building improvement. Unfortunately, I wasn't as ready as I thought and decided to walk away.  I hope they can find someone for the location, I'm sure someone will eventually.
Title: Re: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: slybarman on December 28, 2012, 08:24:12 AM
Bob:

Landlords will often finance the build out (or a large portion of it) in the form of a tenant improvement allowance. The amount the landlord spends is essentially rolled into a higher rent amount over the term of the lease.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: breadstoneovens on December 28, 2012, 05:00:57 PM
Hi Terry,

your project sounds great. I am in the Baltimore area and I have heard of couple of space opportunities. You mentioned in a earlier post a warehouse that was 7K ft, are you looking for something that big or you are flexible?

Let me know,

Antoine
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on January 01, 2013, 09:49:20 PM
7000sqft is a bit much for our concept.  Ideally, looking for around 2500-3000.  Don't get me wrong, there are alot of locations out there.  Just looking for the right one.



T.
Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: Drivingrain on September 05, 2013, 05:10:14 PM
Hi, good luck to you!  It's so hard to start a business these days...seriously, it takes a special person/team and even then....the chances of getting launched are small, let alone succeeding!

Anyway...how's it going? 

Title: Re: Opening a new place in Baltimore
Post by: PizzaDiFiore on September 11, 2013, 03:36:15 PM
Hi, good luck to you!  It's so hard to start a business these days...seriously, it takes a special person/team and even then....the chances of getting launched are small, let alone succeeding!

Anyway...how's it going?

Life has kind of gotten in the way of my pizza ambitions, lol.  Some family medical issues have caused us to temporarily postpone our search for another location.  Unfortunately, we also lost our main investor because of this, but it will all come around in the end.  I own a couple of coffee shops already and I make pizzas once a week in one, so I get a little pizza fix!


Terry