Gourmet pizzas and salads, craft beers, fine wines and a public plaza are what Dewey's Pizza will bring to downtown Worthington when it opens Aug. 26.
Set in the heart of Old Worthington, on the southeast corner of New England Avenue and High Street, Dewey's will be the newest occupant of the busiest commercial intersection in town.
City officials had to think long and hard about what they would allow to go into the prime location but two years ago agreed to Dewey's plans for an attractive brick building with a public plaza and space for community events at the corner.
The large patio will have three pergolas, built-in tables and places to sit. It will be open to anyone.
People could bring their ice cream or pizza bought from Dewey's or elsewhere and sit there for a while.
No outside food service will be offered, but customers could buy takeout orders and eat them on the plaza.
Dewey's has committed to keeping the area clean.
Beyond the plaza is an extra-wide sidewalk designed to provide more space for the Saturday morning farmers market or other community events.
"We feel we've done a lot for the community, and they've done a lot for us," Dewey's regional manager Eric Kohl said. "Worthington has been very helpful and flexible."
The downtown Worthington location will be the 17th Dewey's. The chain started in Cincinnati in 1998 and has restaurants in Dayton, Cleveland and St. Louis. The other central Ohio Dewey's is in Grandview Heights.
"This is exactly the neighborhood we look to be in," Kohl said. "It is a well-established neighborhood that is family- and pedestrian-friendly."
Inside, the nearly complete restaurant is modern-industrial in style, with exposed pipes. It will have seating for 80, with only a few seats at a bar. It is not intended to be a neighborhood tavern, though, Kohl said.
The kitchen is open to the restaurant, and customers could watch the food being prepared, the pizza dough being tossed.
All ingredients will be fresh. Dewey's won't have a freezer on the premises, Kohl said.
On the menu will be three sizes of pizza, a long list of regular and gourmet toppings and several specialty pizzas with names like the Bronx Bomber, Edgar Allan Poe and Socrates' Revenge.
Five kinds of salads, calzone, beer and wine round out the offerings.
"Upscale casual, full-service, family-friendly" is how Kohl describes Dewey's.
"We are definitely a restaurant first, a pizza place second," he said.