Move over, Metro station debates and architectural plans: There’s pizza news in Potomac Yard. An outpost of the D.C.-based chain &pizza is setting up shop in the bustling shopping center at 3525 Jefferson Davis Highway, and it launches this week.
&pizza will open its doors Thursday, July 12, at 11 a.m. – and the first 27 people in line will receive a free pizza, says director of marketing Rachel McLaughlin. (The significance of 27? The ampersand is considered the 27th letter of the alphabet.)
“This is actually a site that we had been looking at…for quite some time,” McLaughlin said. “It’s certainly something that we hear from our Tribe members (&pizza employees) and our shop leaders in that market as well as guests, so it made sense to give the people what they want.”
The pizza purveyor is known for its untraditional approach to the pies. Their signature oblong shape gives them an instant visual differentiation, and the décor of the restaurants is edgier than what diners have come to expect from a pizzeria. The new Potomac Yard location aims to take some companywide concepts and localize them for the Alexandria clientele.
“We’re a pizza chain but try to localize and give the individual (stores)…the ability to help us create that narrative from a design perspective,” McLaughlin said. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously all the time; we just take a look at that particular market and see what do people want.”
And what the people want is pizza with all the fixings. &pizza is ready for the onslaught. Along with a laundry list of daily offerings, the restaurant has been branching out with its limited-time offers as well.
“One thing that you may have noticed over the last three to four months is that we have been launching more limited-time offerings more frequently,” McLaughlin said. “Newness is really important to our guests.”
One of the most popular pizzas happens to be a limited-time offer at the moment, McLaughlin said. The Boss Hogg, available through at least the middle of the month, is a pulled-pork affair with barbecue sauce, corn, caramelized onions, chili oil, cilantro, cheese and more.
But meatless diners won’t be left out: The regular &pizza menu sports an array of pies for all palates, including offering vegan cheese for plant-based diners.
“We never lose sight of who we are and who our people are,” McLaughlin said.
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.