Craving some delicious pizza and craft beer? Good news! The Hyattsville location of Pizzeria Paradiso will open for business on Saturday, July 8. Credited with introducing the Washington area to Neapolitan-style pizza more than 25 years ago, chef and owner Ruth Gresser’s fourth outpost will be part of the newly renovated Marché florist building, which also houses Art Works Now.
Pizzeria Paradiso Hyattsville will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week, featuring the signature pizzas that are available at all Pizzeria Paradiso locations as well as a robust beer program helmed by executive beverage director Drew McCormick. With 16 beers on tap at any given time, Pizzeria Paradiso will offer the largest continuously rotating draft beer selection in Hyattsville.
During the opening week of July 8 to July 18, the restaurant will celebrate its first Maryland location with an all-Maryland brewery tap takeover as well as a special Maryland crab pizza using a recipe based on Gresser’s mom’s — a Baltimore native — crab cake recipe. The pizza, “Maryland is for Lovage,” will be made with a parsley and lovage pesto sauce, hominy, cherry tomatoes, and topped with a Maryland crab salad after cooking.
Gresser and her spouse, Art Works Now founder Barbara Johnson, began renovating the Marché florist building in 2012, working closely with their award-winning architect Mark McInturff on the building, and Eric Gronning, who served as the architect for the restaurant space. Johnson said the building was a landmark in her childhood, growing up in Mt. Rainier. Her family used Marché as their family florist, which provided the yellow roses her father would send to her mother for every holiday, as well as the floral arrangements for family weddings. Gresser and Johnson say their vision was to create a community gathering place in the emerging Gateway Arts District of Prince George’s County featuring art education and delicious food, appealing to the diverse and growing community.
Pizzeria Paradiso collaborated with Art Works Now and the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council to have local artists create more than 20 pizza-inspired art pieces for the restaurant’s decor using various mediums. The space features 55 interior seats and another 18 outdoor seats, including a five-seat exterior beer bar with a folding window, which links the interior bar to the patio. Local artist Valerie Theberge installed a mosaic flame on the restaurant’s custom Marra Forni pizza oven, prominently placed inside the main entrance.
Art Works Now and Pizzeria Paradiso will hold a joint ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration of their new space on July 15 at 11 a.m. Pizzeria Paradiso will serve complimentary pizza and soft drinks and Art Works Now will have a pottery throwing demonstration, arts activities, and an open house with works from the artist Pauline Rakis. Children are welcome to play in the Art Works Now imagination playground. Guest speakers will include County Executive Rushern Baker III, Maryland State Sen. Paul Pinsky and Prince George’s County Councilmember Deni Taveras.
Art Works Now and Pizzeria Paradiso are developing programs and activities that will bring together pizza and beer with art, such as a tasting and art showcase with Graft Cider and their label designer in the fall. Art Works Now will utilize the shared space with the restaurant to incorporate food into their educational youth programming.
Preliminary hours will be Monday-Thursday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sundays noon-10 p.m. Pizzeria Paradiso Hyattsville is located at 4800 Rhode Island Ave.
Information for this story was partially gathered from a press release by Savor PR.