Michael and Kelly Stevens plan to open Palo Mesa Wood Fired, a small Italian-inspired wood-fired pizzeria at 150 W. Branch St. The 600-square-foot space formerly housed the Arroyo Grande Village Flower Shop, which closed in early February. The couple anticipates opening the eatery in December or January.
The Stevenses currently own three Palo Mesa Pizza restaurants — two in Arroyo Grande and one in San Luis Obispo — and Tanner Jacks in Arroyo Grande.
Michael said he saw the Village space as the perfect location for something different from their other pizza concepts.
“It was a no-brainer,” he said.
The new restaurant will have an intimate “old-world” feel and will seat about 10 to 20 people, Michael said. He declined to disclose financial information.
The pizzas will be cooked from 60 to 90 seconds at about 900 to 950 degrees in the wood-fired oven. They will be made in-house with lots of local ingredients; Michael described them as “lighter” than typical pizzas.
The restaurant will likely be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. It will offer eat-in and takeout pizza. The pair also have a mobile wood-fired pizza oven for catering services.
Palo Mesa Wood Fired will have a staff of about four to eight, a mix of full-time and part-time employees.
Michael said they hope to open a few more restaurants — likely Palo Mesa Pizzas — over the next several years.
He will be traveling to Las Vegas in October with the United States Pizza Team to compete in the best pizza in America challenge. Michael represented the U.S. in Italy as a member of the United States Pizza Team in 2014 and 2015.
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