According to a final consent order issued by the D.C. Department of Regulatory and Consumer Affairs, the restaurant will reopen as Go Fresh, a prepared food shop that bares little resemblance to the former late-night pizza peddler. Owner Mehmet Kocak‘s new certificate of occupancy came with strict conditions from the DCRA.
As per the consent order, Go Fresh will not be able to cook raw ingredients, such as meat, dough, or fish. The restaurant will stop serving customers at 12:45 a.m. and close at 1 a.m.; Thursdays through Saturdays, deliveries can continue until 3 a.m. And the final nail in Philly Pizza’s coffin? Go Fresh “shall not serve and/or sell pizza.”
That’s right: No cooking, no late nights, and no pizza.
The consent order is chock full of other requirements. Kocak, who declined to speak to a Voice reporter on his lawyer’s advice, must post a “No Loitering” sign outside of Go Fresh, and will “promptly notify” the Metropolitan Police Department if any customers loiter. If D.C. officials notify the restaurant of a violation of the certificate of occupancy, Kocak has two days to fix it unless he chooses to protest the allegation. Go Fresh is allowed to use vent-less ovens, toasters, microwaves, or panini presses.
After the certificate of occupancy was issued last month, ANC Commissioner Bill Starrels told the Georgetown Dish, “We’re not happy. Nobody understands this ruling. The timing of it, it’s strange. It makes no sense.”
And that’s how the saga of Philly Pizza ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
10/15 update: Or not. The Georgetown Dish reports that D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans vowed to shut down Philly Pizza at last night’s Ward 2 town hall. “I’m going to put them [Philly Pizza] out of business. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but it’s going to happen,” Evans told the Dish.
Photo: Kara Brandeisky