Still waiting on Yates Pizza Palace in Alexandria, Virginia
UPDATE (5/18 3:03 PM): Reader reports (see below) that a construction fence has FINALLY gone up at the site. Will we get NY style pizza in Alexandria, Virginia in 2016?
I first heard the update to this back in March but, have been waiting to see if construction was/has started as I was told was going to happen below. A month is a long time to wait.
Readers ask for updates on this seemingly every week so here you go… First a little back story.
As we stated in June of LAST year, Jeffrey Yates bought the building housing the old Generous Georges at 3000 Duke Street in 2014. Mr. Yates and his team then went before the Alexandria Planning Commission and City Council for approval of their Special Use Permit (SUP) for the space in December 2014. Generous George’s was a popular spot for pizza parties for more than three decades before it closed in 2009 largely due to health problems of its owner.
The joint was bought by My Husband Cooks Hospitality, LLC owner Kendle Bryan in 2012. The plan was to turn the location into a Ginny’s and The Esquire Dog. This plan never came to fruition and Mr. Yates pounced when the joint came up for sale again.
As we stated in June 2015, Yates was still waiting for permits to be issued. Now, we understand from sources the permits HAVE been issued, a contractor has been hired, as has a chef. The plan is to keep a lot of what made Generous George’s so popular by offering pizza, pasta and sauces made from scratch. Last June, Mr. Yates told me the aim is to provide the BEST New York style pizza at the location.
We hear there will be three floors in the joint (one reason the permits took a bit longer than normal to be issued).
The bottom floor will have the floors lowered (longtime Generous George’s customer will remember the low ceiling downstairs) and will include a bar area. The upstairs floor will include a bar and we hear there will be a large communal table on this floor. The communal table is a large slab seating eight to 20ish people, in small groups of strangers or one large party. Restaurants prize them for their versatility, and also because they evoke a sense of community and sharing — plus, they look awesome (if you have never seen one). We hear the one at Yates will be quite large. Plans call for 387 seats inside the restaurant and seating for 61 on the rooftop.
We also hear where the holdup (now going on 2 years…) has been is the roof deck. This area will also have a bar and LIVE music. One of the holdups has been on the type of live music there will be allowed. Mr. Yates said he’d like to see live music at the location on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The restaurant will include two kitchens instead of one, valet parking, and include take-out and delivery.
Lastly, we hear that, while there has been a significant amount of demo in the building, construction should get underway soon. There is STILL no word on an opening date or time frame for an opening.
We will update as more becomes available.
As a reminder, here’s what the location will look like when construction is completed.
As you can see from the rendering above, there will be a complete remodel of the exterior of the building.
(Rendering image via City of Alexandria)