On the beverage side, offerings will include drinks like Frozen Jack and Coke, Spicy Paloma and Pickleback shots, as well as draft beer and wines with a focus on woman-owned or -operated vineyards and those that employ sustainable farming practices.
Joining Pizza Jeans co-founder Chris Wilkins as operating partners will be restaurateur Billy Streck and his childhood friend, Jeremy Gatto. Streck owns or co-owns several restaurants in metro Atlanta including Hampton + Hudson in Inman Park and Lyla Lila in Midtown, as well as pizza eateries Nina & Rafi in Old Fourth Ward and the recently-opened Pielands in Virginia-Highland, and has plans to open Standard Service Restaurant & Taproom in Gainesville later this year.
Gatto has spent more than 30 years in the food and beverage industry, most of it in New York. He will serve as director of operations and partner at Pizza Jeans, and also serves as director of operations at Hampton + Hudson, Nina & Rafi and Pielands.
Streck and Gatto will handle Pizza Jeans’ day-to-day operations, while Wilkins said in a prepared statement that he will stay on behind the scenes “to help Pizza Jeans stay true to its original identity.”
Wilkins, who was named a semifinalist in the James Beard Awards’ outstanding baker category in 2019 and 2020, founded Pizza Jeans as a pop-up with Nicole Lewis in 2019 and turned it into an established brick-and-mortar in 2020.
Last month, he closed his adjoining bakery Root Baking Co. after seven years.
Pizza Jean’s planned move is one of several changes Ponce City Market’s Central Food Hall has undergone in recent months.
Central Food Hall is in the middle of a major expansion, with the recent opening of Nani’s Piri Piri Chicken, Vietvana, Excuse My French, Cake Culture and Atrium, and several other concepts set to open soon including Spicewalla, Umbrella Bar and Bibi.
Central Food Hall’s expansion, which adds more than 5,000 square feet, was announced in late 2020, with plans to add a four-story office building, additional shopping and dining space surrounding an outdoor courtyard and 400 units of what developer Jamestown described as “hospitality living.”
The existing development includes offices — more than 5,200 people work at Ponce City Market — and residential units in addition to dining and shopping.
Existing Ponce City Market food and beverage concepts include Sweetgreen, Bar Vegan, and Eleven TLC as well as longer-term tenants like H&F Burger, Botiwalla, Biltong Bar and Ton Ton. In addition to Farm to Ladle and Root Baking Co., Marrakesh and Batter Cookie Dough COunter recently closed in the Central Food Hall.
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