FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Training has started for the staff of a new pizzeria on The Landing ahead of a November grand opening. Alto Grado has expanded from a Fort Wayne food truck to a storefront in the historic block’s newly constructed building.
What began as a backyard project for founder Rick Doering, will soon become a “fast casual” restaurant at 111 W. Columbia Street. Beginning with dinner hours, before expanding to lunch and weekend brunch, the restaurant will offer wood fired pizza, sandwiches and salads, as well as beer and wine.
“We want to do what we know how to do and try to expand that into our team being able to produce those pizzas people know from our food truck,” Doering told WANE 15. “The idea is from the time you order to the time you get your food will be about five minutes – with pizza that’s a pretty impressive feat.”
Doering beams with pride when talking about the local effort that went into creating the Alto Grado storefront. From financing to designing the interiors and construction as well as the ingredients used in the food, it’s all locally sourced.
“A lot of our meats come from Albright’s in Corunna, and farmers market items as well end up on our pizza.” Doering added. “We only use fresh mozzarella cheese. We don’t even have any shredded cheese anywhere around our restaurant or food truck… San Marzano tomato sauce. Our dough is cold fermented. That’s something somewhat unique to us.”
According to Doering, the restaurants along The Landing were designed to compliment each other, not compete. He was approached by Model Group and Brendon Maxwell of Utopian Coffee and The Landing Beer Company with the idea of opening Alto Grado. Work has started on Mercado, a restaurant neighboring the pizzeria.
Alto Grado is set to open Wednesday, November 11.