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Fuel Pizza, North Carolina’s take on New York-style pies, is opening two locations in the District: one in the former bank building across from Verizon Center at 600 F St. NW and another inside the former Burger King space at 1606 K St. NW. Washington Business Journal has more details. For some early intel on the place, Y&H reached out to Tricia Childress, the food critic for our sister paper—-er, step-sister paper, whatever our corporate ties might now be—-Creative Loafing Charlotte, for her impressions on the Queen City-based chain. Her off-the-cuff thoughts below:
I wrote about Fuel when they first opened in November 1998 (yep – been here that long). They have eight stores now. When they first opened what I liked about them was their location – they reused an old filling station in an area of town that was anti-developer and the original store had pizzas from upper state New York so these were the thin pliable crust variety. At that location they had a malfunctioning oven that gave the crust a smoky charcoal taste. I love the charcoal oven pizza joints in Manhattan. Fuel also serves Buffalo (as in the real Anchor Bar-style kind) wings. These folks are not from Buffalo – I think Utica – can’t remember.
Fuel opened before the onslaught of pizza joints in the early aughts and they have enjoyed great success here especially the pizza by the (large) slice. But Charlotte did not have an Italian immigrant base and thus lacked a history of those small mom and pop pizza shops that are all over the Northeast. I haven’t had a slice of Fuel in a while but I also teach at Johnson & Wales University and the students LOVE Fuel. Interesting they are opening in Washington.
Top photo courtesy of Fuel Pizza, bottom photo by Chris Shott