Fort Worth is going to get another big player in the local pizza game -- but not until 2019.
On Wednesday morning, Cane Rosso owner Jay Jerrier's restaurant group -- it's an acronym , but we're still not sure our standard and practices department will let us say it -- announced that it will add a Zoli's NY Pizza location at 3501 Hulen St. in Fort Worth.
That's kinda midway between Trader Joe's and the Chapel Hill shopping center anchored by Central Market. More to the point, it's midway between Interstate 30 and Chisholm Trail Parkway.
"Since opening in Addison late last year, the #1 question that we have been asked the most isn't "Y U No Eat Gluten?" or "why is your restaurant decorated like a child's bedroom?," but rather..."when are you going to open one in Fort Worth?" says a post on the Zoli's Facebook page.
The post is accompanied by an amusing video ("after three years of Guy Fieri not answering their texts ...") narrated by ... someone trying to sound like Morgan Freeman, we think. Really, this takes 3 minutes and it's a must-watch. And not just because it will make you crave pizza. It's got Chewbacca and a unicorn in it.
Zoli's was founded by Jay Jerrier, who has had a location of his Neapolitan pizza mini-chain Cane Rosso on Magnolia Avenue since 2014. While Cane Rosso is known for its quickly made Neapolitan pizzas that are a little wet in the middle, Zoli's is known for heftier pizzas.
And Jerrier is known for his sense of humor, his dog-rescue efforts, his ability to riff on Yelp! reviews on his social-media accounts and his love of "Star Wars" (in honor of "Solo: A Star Wars Story," Cane Rosso will serve a "Ham Solo" pizza made with Virginia baked ham, Black Forest Ham, Applewood Honey Baked Ham, mozzarella, calabrian peppers and parsley -- and Noble Rey's Off the Leash Red Ale, served in a Chewbacca glass).
The Fort Worth location of Zoli's will also have a Cow Tipping Creamery ice-cream window where diners can order soft-serve from inside the restaurant or from a large covered patio.
Jerrier says in an email that his group is working with Salsa Limon owner Chris Kruger to put up a 5,000-square-foot building with a 1,500-square-foot covered patio.
"About 4,500 sf will be Zoli’s and 500 sf will be a walk up window for Cow Tipping Creamery," he says. "We’ll also have on site parking lot and a huge green space that we’ll do some fun things with."
He adds: "We’ll be doing our Italian-American menu with round pies, square pies, pastas, subs, chicken parm and the like. But we’re also adding a Bertha wood-fired grill so we’ll be doing some cool new things as well. .. hopefully some giant shareable plates and Sunday Supper type things."
Along with the video, Zoli's went the more traditional route of sending a release, excerpted below.
“This Zoli’s is being designed to be a community hangout with a large covered patio and green space all within walking distance of great neighborhoods on the west side. ... ” says Jerrier. “We love Fort Worth and think Zoli’s and Cow Tipping Creamery have the perfect vibe for the area. While Cane Rosso has its distinct style and concept, guests will experience something completely different from us with Zoli’s.”
The New York style pizzeria is led on the culinary side by Chef Lee Hunzinger, a Long Island born and bred pizzamaker who is the creative force behind the pizza, pasta and dessert offerings on the menu.
“Zoli’s pizza is tossed New York style, and our pasta, salads and desserts are very much a reflection of the American view of Italian favorites,” says Chef Hunzinger. “We serve square and round pies, pasta carbonara, calzones, you name it. If your Italian grandmother cooked it for Sunday dinner, I’m pretty sure we have it on the menu,” Lee offers.
Expect a 2019 opening.