Downtown Cary will soon have a new restaurant option when The Durham Hotel’s chef de cuisine opens a Neapolitan-style pizzeria along East Chatham Street.
Pizzeria Faulisi is the first retail tenant to be announced in the 25,000-square-foot, three-story office and retail building at 215 E. Chatham Street that Northwoods Associates is building as part of Mid-Town Square.
The restaurant will be owned by Zach Faulisi, who works at the new boutique hotel’s restaurant, and his wife, Amber Faulisi. It is expected to open this fall or winter.
“Pizzeria Faulisi will have a beautiful space anchoring the corner of the new Mid-Town Square building with great views down Chatham Street from their dining room and patio,” said Jordan Gussenhoven, owner of Chatham Street Commercial, which is half of the Northwoods Associates partnership developing the project. George H. Jordan III Development Co., owned by Gussenhoven’s uncle, George Jordan, is the other partner.
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The new restaurant will feature a wood-burning oven and will serve Neapolitan-style pizza, baked pasta and antipasti, such as meats, cheese, grains or greens, with locally grown, fresh ingredients. There will be a full-service bar with additional seating directly in front of where the pizza will be made.
“It will be very simple, very clean decor,” Zach Faulisi said. “We are picking up a lot of antique pieces. It’s a pizzeria but ... it will be a little more softer toned, a little more of a reclaimed look to it.”
They will serve dinner five days a week from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Lunch may be added in the future.
Pizzeria Faulisi will feature a family table, the only table that will take reservations. It will set up to 10 people and will feature a family-style menu of pizza and antipasti priced per person.
A love of pizza
The Faulisis, both Pittsburgh natives, have worked in fine dining establishments up and down the East Coast for a combined 30 years under prominent chefs like Mario Batali and Andrew Carmellini. The Durham Hotel’s restaurant already has won several culinary accolades since it opened last year and recently was named one of Bon Appetit magazine’s best new restaurants.
Zach Faulisi has worked as a chef de cuisine at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater in New York City and a sous chef at the W Hotel in South Beach, Fla. Amber Faulisi has been a sous chef at Locanda Verde and The Dutch in New York City, as well as at Vivace, an Italian restaurant in Raleigh.
“After working for different sized operations, big operations, we just want to keep it simple,” Zach Faulisi said.
The couple lived in Cary more than five years ago before working in restaurants in New York, Miami and more. But when it came time to settle down, they had one place in mind – downtown Cary.
“We looked at a bunch of different areas, but our heart always came back to Cary,” Zach Faulisi said.
He isn’t the first in his family to own a pizzeria. His parents owned one for several years in West Virginia before they moved south.
“Pizza is delicious,” Zach Faulisi said. “I grew up in an Italian family so my family would always make fresh pizza in the ovens at home. Neighbors would always come over. It would be a great time so it kind of just stuck with me.”
Now, it is his turn to open his own place to share with his 1 1/2-year-old son, Dominic.
“He’s the real boss, for sure,” he said. “I’m sure he’ll be showing his face around there sometime.”
Zach Faulisi will remain at The Durham Hotel until closer to the restaurant’s opening date.
The entire office and retail space, where Pizzeria Faulisi will be housed, is expected to be complete in November. Northwoods Associates also is renovating Mid-Town Shopping Center, a longstanding retail center next door, that is anchored by Bond Brothers Beer Company.
Gussenhoven and Jordan are in discussions with other restaurant operators to fill a vacant space at 211 E. Chatham St., where Dorry’s Downtown Deli was located before it closed the summer of 2014.
Zach Faulisi said it was new businesses in downtown Cary, such as The Pharmacy Bottle Shop and Bond Brothers Beer Company, that helped them make the decision to come to the area.
“It’s great to see small, independent things, and we just want to help continue to build the downtown area,” he said.
Kathryn Trogdon: 919-460-2608: @KTrogdon