After several months running its successful Friday pizza pop-ups, Root Baking Co. plans to open Pizza Jeans on the second floor of Ponce City Market this spring. The pizza pop-ups continue from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Friday at Root Baking until the restaurant opens.
Pizza Jeans will take over most of Root Baking’s current space, with the bakery-cafe eventually operating from a counter adjacent to the pizzeria. The current menu for Root Baking should remain intact once Pizza Jeans opens, but dining in will need to be done in the Central Food Hall.
Chef Matthew Palmerlee leads the kitchen at Pizza Jeans, which plans to serve whole pizzas and slices using Root’s naturally-leavened dough, hoagie sandwiches, salads, and tinned fish as well as desserts like Italian lemon ice and sourdough doughnuts.
“To me, good pizza is simple: quality ingredients and really good bread,” Root Baking Co. co-owner and baker Chris Wilkins says in the press release. “We’re trying to embrace the Italian ethic behind great pizza and anchor it where we are. Fundamentally, we think showcasing well-executed dough with regionally sourced ingredients and local flavor makes for a great slice.”
Beverage manager Drew Gillespie (Little Trouble) will create cocktails like a spicy mai thai and a black Manhattan using amaro rather than sweet vermouth. In addition to cocktails, Pizza Jeans’ bar menu also includes beer, wines by the glass and bottle, and an “extensive” amari list.
Pizza Jeans features a nine-seat bar along with booth seating, and offers both dine-in service and a to-go counter.
“We were faced with a good problem: folks really liked the Pizza Jeans pop-up, and we needed to expand the back of house footprint for the bakery,” Wilkins and co-owner Nicole Lewis tell Eater Atlanta of the decision to open a permanent pizzeria. “We looked at the ways in which we could build upon our mission thoughtfully without overextending ourselves or our staff, and it seemed that dividing the space we already have between Root and Pizza Jeans was the most elegant solution.”
Most of the restaurant renovations will occur after Root Baking closes for the day and should be completed by early spring.
Root Baking opened at Ponce City Market in September 2018. Since its Atlanta debut, Wilkins has been nominated as a semifinalist for a James Beard award and the bakery-cafe has landed on several local and national “best of” lists, including Eater Atlanta’s 38 Essential Restaurants list.
Wilkins and Lewis first opened Root Baking in Charleston, South Carolina, before relocating it to Atlanta. The move was due, in part, to Charleston’s seasonal tourist economy, which made it difficult to “pay the rent.”
Update, January 16, 3:30 p.m.: This story has been updated with new information on the renovation process and the pop-up becoming a pizzeria.
- All Root Baking coverage [EATL]