Owner Glenn Griffith and head chef Stefano Rea stand inside Milton's new addition, 850°F Bar Pizza. (click for larger version)
April 02, 2014MILTON, Ga. – A Neapolitan-inspired wood-fired pizza lounge is nearing its grand opening in Milton.
850°F Bar Pizza, at 12635 Crabapple Road, combines a tantalizing Italian menu with a luxurious and open build out to offer customers a unique experience for the city.
"I think it's going to be a fun business with a passion for good food and drinks," said owner Glenn Griffith. "I'm hoping for a lot of smiles and laughter around the place."
Griffith brought on his good friend, Stefano Rea, as head chef who is a native of Naples, Italy.
Together, they have created a menu with Italian entrees, risotto dishes and fantastic Italian desserts like homemade adult gelato. Some recipes include cabernet and dark chocolate, and a classic rum and raisin.
Griffith said the nine specialty pizzas, all individually sized at about 11 inches, will be cooked in an expensive wood-burning oven, with which Rea is quite familiar.
"It fires the pizza, and you can just watch the olive oil burning and the crust popping up," Griffith said. "If it's done right, it's just phenomenal, and I think we do it right."
The oven is exposed to the dining room, and there will be a few long communal tables where customers can "watch a little show going on at the same time," said Griffith.
With this concept, Griffith has planned to construct the 2,700-square-foot property to have an openly warm and comfortable feel.
There will be 1,300 square feet dedicated to kitchen space and about 1,500 square feet for the dining and bar area.
Griffith said he ripped out part of the wall for windows that will enclose the indoor/outdoor full bar, much like at Marlow's Tavern.
The bar will wrap halfway outside on the 1,300-square-foot patio – a patio that Griffith hopes will put his restaurant "on the map."
After receiving approval from the city of Milton, Griffith plans to build his patio idea consisting of a retractable roof, moveable panels, mister fans and a fireplace.
This patio, after it's completed sometime during spring, will be integral to the smooth lounge-like atmosphere Griffith said he has always enjoyed.
After leaving behind the roller coaster ride of the real estate market, Griffith said he is ready to try this first venture of owning a restaurant and has put a lot of his taste in the designs.
"My family is from Sicily, and I grew up around good food and that kind of Italian atmosphere," Griffith said. "I've got some Italian friends here in town and it just seemed like the right thing to do at the right time."
Griffith said he traveled to many restaurants, pulled together ideas he liked from each and designed the interior using different media to flow from brick walls and hardwood floors to intricate iron pieces.
Griffith left the rest of the work for local company Giovanni's Tile Design, and they have infused their "Old World craftsmanship" with tiling throughout the restaurant.
"Everyone I've talked to in the neighborhood seems to think will we do very well here," Griffith said. "This is going to be an interesting place."
For more information, visit www.850fbarpizza.com or call 678-585-4628.