Pizza Vinoteca closed last night in Ballston after just under six months of serving grilled pizza and wine. The restaurant isn't the only one to struggle in that location: Protein Bar, which had a shop in the same building, also closed last year after last than eight months because of the lack of foot traffic.
CEO Ari Malcolm had reworked the concept before it opened at 800 N. Glebe Road in December. The restaurant's original New York location, which closed just a few weeks before the one here opened, boasted digital kiosks and iPads on every table for ordering. While the Ballston outpost had some high-tech touches—like an argon gas-based wine preservation and dispensing system as well as a custom-made 900-degree grill with 16 burners, infrared heat, and three wood chip smoke boxes—it didn't have the same gadgets.
At the time of Pizza Vinoteca's Ballston opening, Malcolm told Y&H the New York location's technology somewhat overshadowed the food and drinks. But he hadn't ruled out electronic ordering systems for a fast-casual concept. Malcolm initially said he hoped to open a grab-and-go version of Pizza Vinoteca in the D.C. area if all went well in Ballston. Needless to say, those plans are now on hold.
Photo by Jessica Sidman