If I were a betting blogger, I’d say that the city probably won’t let Mehmet Kocak reopen Philly Pizza. Call it superstition, but when your entire neighborhood is organized against you, the mayor’s attorney compares you to a brothel, and Mayor Adrian Fenty himself shows up at your store’s fresh grave to dance on it, that spells death for your chances of making it in Georgetown.
But Kocak isn’t so easily phased, and this week, he continued his bid to get a new Certificate of Occupancy from the Department of Consumer Regulatory Affairs—the same department that shuttered the same storefront back in March of this year. The Georgetown Dish reports that he went before the DCRA to make his case earlier this week. And while they’re light on the details, it’s clear from the attendance at that hearing—DCRA Director Linda Argo, a lawyer from Attorney General Peter Nickles‘s office, ANC Commissioner Bill Starrels, and the residents who fought to shut him down and their lawyer, Marty Sullivan—that Kocak is going to be under a lot of scrutiny.
Sullivan says that they already have reason to worry if Kocak does reopen Philly Pizza, or some other store at the Potomac Street location. While he’s advertising his new store concept as a prepared food shop, akin to Subway, Commissioner Starrels said that Kocak has also applied to operate a 500-degree-plus oven—for pizza.
“I don’t think [Kocak] has earned any credibility,” Starrels told the Voice in July. “I hope that Peter Nickles will do everything in the law and his power to protect my constituents from having to suffer under these people again and from this place reopening.”
I’m going to go look up the Vegas odds, but I’m guessing they’re not in Philly Pizza’s favor.