Est Est Est is hitting the road.
The owner of the 31-year-old Chapel Street pizza restaurant asked the Board of Zoning Appels Tuesday for permission to use 575 Columbus Ave. as a place to store two pizza trucks that have wood-fire ovens and would cater events such as birthday parties around the city. The new building would also be used for food preparation for other off-site deliveries about eight to ten times a day.
The board heard the case, then referred it to the City Plan Commission for an advisory opinion.
Est Est Est put a pizza truck, a retrofitted fire rescue vehicle with a 4,000-pound wood-fired brick oven, into operation over the past year to cater off-site meals. (See more details here.)
“His pizza is rated as one of the top in the city, which in this city is really something, given our love of pizza,” attorney James Perito said as he introduced Est Est Est owner Sabri Gebril. (They’re pictured at left.)
The trucks are meant to supplement the business from Gebril’s regular pizza restaurant, especially when school is out of session and college students leave town. The trucks would operate primarily from June through August.
Currently, the Columbus Avenue pace is used as a station for oil trucks of Gargiulo Brothers Oil. This proposal would convert the space from one non-conforming use, the oil truck station, to another non-conforming use - for the pizza trucks and food production.
“This would create activity in an area where many of these lots are underutilized and are auto parts stores. There’s not really lot of activity of people,” Perito said. “We think it brings a benefit to the neighborhood.”
According to Perito, these trucks would make about three to four trips a week; Est Est Est would hire five new employees. There would be enough space within the building for parking, so no outside parking would be required. The owner of the next-door property, 569 Columbus Ave., submitted a letter of support for the proposal.
As for noise and smell from food production, Perito said that people living above Est Est Est restaurant on Chapel have had no problems with the establishment so far.
“The apartments above never have any complaints, and while there might be the smell of pizza cooking [at the new property], it’s not the smell of oil anymore. It’s more like a bakery,” Perito said. “This is an opportunity to support the health of local businesses, add some employment for the city, and replace a more intense industrial non-conforming use with a commercial one.