Walking into the cavernous 6,000 square foot space at 112 N. Green Street earlier this week, Brendan Sodikoff (Gilt Bar, Maude's Liquor Bar) said to have some vision and imagination. That's because this massive spot with approximately 25-foot ceilings could not be more raw. But given time and a lot of construction and design work, Pizzeria Cella (if that name sticks) will look fairly different by the time it opens, which likely won't happen until sometime in early 2013, Sodikoff said.
Even then, Sodikoff wants to keep the gritty look and feel of the space with open walls, towering ceilings and doors that will open onto the courtyard it'll share with the soon-to-open RM Champagne Salon as well as Graham Elliot's new spot, G.E.B. But he'll add oversized crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, couches, area rugs and more to clean it up and give it a sexier, more sophisticated vibe.
The restaurant will focus on "thin, stretchy, crunchy and chewy" Neapolitan pizza and smoked meats. Sodikoff said everything will be cooked by "hard fuels" like wood and coal and that items like smoked sausages and large-cut meats will be done in a "low and slow" barbecue style, but leaning toward Italian in heritage.
It'll have a long, wraparound bar with seating on two sides with full cocktail service, but Sodikoff said the idea is to have the restaurant be very wine focused. "The hope is to do an informative but casual wine service," he said. "And I want to do a little retail wine shop where people will get wine at retail prices." He added it'll be a huge list of quality wines and that there's even the idea that servers will grab bottles for guests, who will then open the bottles themselves at the tables. "It'll be very informal, fun and casual."
While Pizzeria Cella is Sodikoff's next next project, his near-term focus is on Au Cheval, his retro diner that will open likely in February, and Bavette's Bar & Boeuf, a European-style steak house planned for a May opening in River North.
· RM Champagne Salon to Open in February Behind Nellcôte [~EChi~]
· Graham Elliot Opening G.E.B. in Spring [~EChi~]
· Sodikoff Talks Au Cheval [~EChi~]
· Brendan Sodikoff to Open Bavettes Bar & Boeuf with Walk-Up Burger Window [~EChi~]