The space that was under construction and then abandoned this past January by Dee Lincoln Steak and Burger, at 3280 West Seventh Street, has signed a new tenant.
After 46 years in the pizza industry and opening nearly100 locations nationwide (the majority of which are in the state of Texas) Mr. Gatti’s Pizza is returning to Fort Worth.
“We are very excited that Mr. Gatti’s Pizza is coming to our development,” said Richard Garvey, Owner and Co-Developer of Museum Place Development Group LTD., and President of JaGee Holdings, LLP, as he confirmed the deal.
Colonel Eure founded The Pizza Place in September 1964 in Stephenville, Texas. He then moved to Austin, and opened “Mr. Gatti’s” in 1969. During the 80’s and 90’s some Mr. Gatti’s became buffet stores featuring state-of-the-art game rooms, which began an evolution that eventually led to Gatti Town. The brand was then updated and became known simply as Gatti’s Pizza.
This newest location in Museum Place, will be the first in many years to go by the original Mr. Gatti’s name, and is part of the expansion plans laid out by Fort Worth-based, Sovrano LLC, when the company acquired Gatti’s Pizza less than one year ago.
“We have a number of platforms (Gatti’s, Gatti Town, and Mr. Gatti’s) but all have the commonality of serving great pizza and tapping into great memories,” says Michael Poates, President of Gatti’s Pizza, and both President and an equity partner of Sovrano LLC.
“This is not a rebrand or a relaunch, rather we are capitalizing on what made us successful in the first place,” he says. “We realized that in order to define our future, we had to go back to our past, which has always been about designing family friendly atmospheres, and serving high quality pizza at affordable prices.”
The Museum Place location will be the first in many years to use the Mr. Gatti’s name. They are going back to their roots by returning to the same classic name, but this will be a brand new version with new menu items as well as layout, according to Jennifer Wersal, Marketing Director for Gatti’s Pizza. “We are working on our second location of the new Mr. Gatti’s brand in Richardson at the same time, but the Museum Place store will be considered our flagship for Mr. Gatti’s. We hope to have both locations open by this summer,” she said.
Poates added that additional locations are also in the works, one in Dallas (at Preston and Campbell), as well as Mesquite and North Richland Hills. Expect the other new Mr. Gatti’s to open by the fall.
The layout of the Museum Place flagship will be counter order from a chalkboard menu with tableside service. The centerpiece of Mr. Gatti’s will continue to be its rotary copper tiled, fire-deck oven. Patio seating is planned as well, which will take in the view and be a draw for future hotel guests − from Museum Place’s next phase of construction.
“We chose this location because of its proximity to the West Seventh District, and the fact that it is in a residential neighborhood. We plan to offer delivery service in a narrow radius delivered via Mercedes Mini’s that will be skinned with our Mr. Gatti’s logo,” Poates says.
The new menu will go back to basics serving three types of pizza: Mr. Gatti’s original Napoli -style crust, a Sicilian deep dish crust and even a new gluten free crust. The options will be endless with BYOP (build your own pizza and pasta creations). Diners can choose their crust or pasta, along with their favorite sauce and toppings (which will now include vegan cheeses and meat alternatives).
The menu will not be overwhelming but will be filled with items aimed to tap into the good memoires people have of Mr. Gatti’s Pizza; with five entrees (including old school lasagna, chicken parmesan, and baked ziti), four appetizers (including new meatballs), and three salads (featuring the “Old Fashioned” − served in its retro tortoise shell bowl).
“We are excited to develop our brand in D/FW, and looking ahead to franchising…it will be great to have our Museum Place store so close to our home office for training purposes and to serve as our prototype Mr. Gatti’s restaurant.”