A fast-casual pizzeria, Tino’s, is opening this July in the former Chipotle space next to the Uptown Theater in Cleveland Park, fulfilling many local residents wishes for another place to spend their dining dollars close to home. Tino’s owners Logan Griffith and Joe McCarthy hope to make their first restaurant a neighborhood favorite with their brick-oven “new age Neopolitan” pizzas.
“We spent months working on every aspect of the pizzas,” says Joe, “especially taking care with the dough’s composition and the cooking times and temperatures.” The pair has chosen the consistent and predictable heat and moisture levels of brick oven cooking to produce what they think is the perfect “leopard” look and taste to their crusts. The toppings will include a traditional tomato-based sauce as well as pesto, and caramelized onion and shallots.
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner every day, closing at 10pm Sunday-Thursdays and staying open until 11 on Fridays and Saturdays. They will offer beer, wine and specialty cocktails for eat-in customers, who will also be able to enjoy outdoor dining during nice weather at sidewalk tables in front of the restaurant. Customers will order at the counter and runners will deliver their orders to their tables.
Logan and Joe met in the kitchen cooking at Wegman’s, and stayed in touch after they went their separate ways, talking off and on about what they might someday work on together. Logan worked at the Inn at Little Washington and the Watergate Hotel, among other stints, and Joe concentrated on grocery store work for Kroger. “Eventually the timing worked out,” said Logan, and two began collaborating.
Tino’s is named after Logan’s young son Constantino. The partners chose to establish the restaurant in Cleveland Park because they liked the historic area, “and we thought it would be a fun place to infuse something new,” says Logan. The former Chipotle space was the ideal size and offered an existing kitchen and front of the house set up that would work well with their plans for Tino’s. Logan and Joe plan to have their brick oven installed by June, and then will finish all hiring and training for a July target opening.
Asked if they might offer free samples at the Saturday morning Cleveland Park Farmers Market before they open to give neighbors a taste of what’s to come, the partners agreed they just might do that! Check out their website and this site, too, to keep up with the latest as Tino’s prepares to open this summer.