Pizza Today - March 2017 - 117

s Front: (Left) CARLOS GONZALEZ, executive kitchen manager, JOSH FERNANDS, executive beverage director, MATT MCQUILKIN, director of operations and MIKE
SOLSBERRY, director of finance and human resources. Back: (Left) DREW MCCORMICK, assistant beverage director and RUTH GRESSER, owner and chef.

C

apturing lightning in a bottle,
for many business owners
happens once, if they're lucky.
Chef Ruth Gresser has found
ways to capture lightning over and over
at Pizzeria Paradiso in Washington,
D.C.
"I had an idea and I was in the right
place at the right time twice," Gresser
says. "Once with pizza and once with
beer."
Gresser opened the first Pizzeria
Paradiso on the second floor of a
Dupont Circle townhouse in 1991
before district residents really knew
what Neapolitan-style pizza was.
"What this restaurant was in 1991
was a high-quality, chef-focused, casual
alternative to fine dining and that is
still what people are looking for today,"
Gresser says. "We've maintained the
standard of quality and throughout the
opening of multiple locations."
In its modest footprint of 1,100
square feet, the original Pizzeria
Paradiso was an instant hit and grew
to three locations: Georgetown in

2002, a larger, relocated Dupont Circle
restaurant in 2009, and Old Town
Alexandria, Virginia, in 2010.
Gresser's vision caught fire again
when she decided to turn the basement
of the Georgetown location into
Birreria Paradiso, quickly becoming a
sought-after beer destination. Today,
all three locations include a Birreria
Paradiso, with a beer list of 200 bottles
and 12 to 16 beers on tap, depending
on location.
In 2015, Gresser ventured out yet
again to redefine pizza by opening a
fast-casual concept, Veloce, initiating
her own vision of how the trendy
concept style would operate.
Pizza Today sat down with
Gresser at Paradiso in Dupont

Circle last fall to see what makes the
restaurant family tick. It was quickly
apparent what's at the heart of the
restaurant: its people. Upon our arrival,
Gresser's first course of action was to
introduce her administrative staff and
tout their praises. The comradery was

evident with Matt McQuilkin, director
of operations; Mike Solsberry, director
of finance and human resources; Josh
Fernands, executive beverage director;
Drew McCormick, assistant beverage
director and Carlos Gonzalez, executive
kitchen manager.
"I go back to this image that I had
when we were building out the first
restaurant and I had this vision... it
was me standing at the pizza counter
and I had my work T-shirt and apron
on and I was standing there and I was
just laughing with a couple people
who were working there," Gresser
says. "That to me represented what
Paradiso was going to be. The thing
that I was creating more than anything
else was a nice place to work and a
nice place to be. Somehow that has
become the defining characteristic of
Pizzeria Paradiso. It's our culture. There
is an environment of respect and an
environment of support."
The dynamic has a strong family feel.
Perhaps the most poignant testament
lies in the longevity of the Paradiso
M A R C H 2 0 1 7 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 1 1 7


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - March 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - March 2017

Pizza Today - March 2017
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
On Tap
Destinations
Knead to Know
Menu Strategies
Tabletop Condiments
Brand With Merchandise
Speeding Up Service
America’s No. 1 Topping: Pepperoni
Neo vs. Neapolitan
How To Change Products
Dessert Pizzas
Up-to-Date Financials
Upgrading Tech
Analyzing Competition
What is Baker’s Lung?
Start Up Stories
Community Partnerships
Vital Sanitization
Road to Expo: Doug Ferriman and George Hadjis
Unemployment Claims
Pizza Today on the Road: Theo’s, New Orleans, LA
Pizza Today on the Road: Pupatella, Arlington, VA.
Pizza Today on the Road: Pizzeria Paradiso, Washington D.C.
Preferred Supplier
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - March 2017 - CT1
Pizza Today - March 2017 - CT2
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Pizza Today - March 2017
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Cover2
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Commentary
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 4
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 5
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Contents
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 7
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 8
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 9
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Contributors
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 11
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 13
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Interact
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 15
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Conversation
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 17
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 19
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 21
Pizza Today - March 2017 - On Tap
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 23
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Destinations
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 25
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 27
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 28
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 29
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 30
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 31
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Menu Strategies
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 33
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 34
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 35
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Tabletop Condiments
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 37
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 38
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 39
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Brand With Merchandise
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 41
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 42
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 43
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Speeding Up Service
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 45
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 46
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 47
Pizza Today - March 2017 - America’s No. 1 Topping: Pepperoni
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 49
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 50
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 51
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Neo vs. Neapolitan
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 53
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 54
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 55
Pizza Today - March 2017 - How To Change Products
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 57
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 58
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 59
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Dessert Pizzas
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 61
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 62
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 63
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 64
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 65
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Up-to-Date Financials
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 67
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 68
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 69
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Upgrading Tech
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 71
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 72
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 73
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Analyzing Competition
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 75
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 76
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 77
Pizza Today - March 2017 - What is Baker’s Lung?
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 79
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 80
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 81
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Start Up Stories
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 83
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 84
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 85
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Community Partnerships
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 87
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 88
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 89
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Vital Sanitization
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 91
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 92
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 93
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Road to Expo: Doug Ferriman and George Hadjis
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 95
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 96
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 97
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Unemployment Claims
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 99
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 100
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 101
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Theo’s, New Orleans, LA
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 103
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 104
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 105
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 106
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 107
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 108
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 109
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Pupatella, Arlington, VA.
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 111
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 112
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 113
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 114
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 115
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Pizzeria Paradiso, Washington D.C.
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 117
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 118
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 119
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 120
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 121
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Preferred Supplier
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 123
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 124
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 125
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 126
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 127
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 128
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 129
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 130
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 131
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 132
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 133
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 134
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 135
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 136
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 137
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 138
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 139
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 140
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 141
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 142
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 143
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 144
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 145
Pizza Today - March 2017 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 147
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 148
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 149
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 150
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 151
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 152
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 153
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 154
Pizza Today - March 2017 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 156
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 157
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 158
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 159
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 160
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 161
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 162
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 163
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 164
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 165
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 166
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 167
Pizza Today - March 2017 - 168
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