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A local brewery is getting in on the ghost restaurant craze. Like others looking for additional revenue streams during the pandemic, Denizens Brewing Co. will start serving red sauce Italian food to pair with their signature Big Red Norm ale this week. Sunday Gravy first launched out of Denizens’ Riverdale Park location on Jan. 13 and Silver Spring will start serving the menu of linguini with meatballs and spinach lasagna for pick-up and dine-in on Jan. 27.
Denizens has been trying to develop a ghost restaurant concept since they became trendy in April. Sunday Gravy was a natural fit. Executive Chef Tom Lozupone is Italian American, as is Denizens co-owner Emily Bruno and much of the management team. “My father’s side is Italian and my mother’s side is Polish-Italian,” Lozupone says. He says hes up for a new challenge. “COVID-19 has reshaped everything, but it’s allowed us to do things we wouldn’t normally have done.”
While the main dishes will rotate every other week, there will always be a dish featuring the ghost restaurant’s namesake sauce, Sunday gravy. Lozupone isn’t making any of the pastas in house, but the gravy is a labor of love. “We start with pork cooked for six hours in tomato sauce that’s cooked for four hours,” he says. “It’s like going to grandma’s house and there’s a big pot of sauce on the stove.”
On the opening menu, the Sunday gravy is served over cheese tortellini. Round out a meal with sides like garlic bread ($5) and mini cannolis for dessert ($8). Future mains will include shrimp fra diavolo and chicken parm. Lozupone previously cooked at I Ricchi downtown and former Clyde’s Restaurant Group eatery Tomato Palace in Columbia, Maryland.
The chef hopes the comforting food from Sunday Gravy will serve as a warm embrace of sorts for locals. “We want to somehow provide a service, an extension of hospitality that people feel that they are missing,” he says. “It’s allowing Denizens to show to the community that, ‘Hey, we’re here for you!’”
The Sunday Gravy menu is available whenever Denizens Brewing Co. is open.
Denizens Brewing Co., 1115 E W Hwy, Silver Spring; (301) 557-9818; denizensbrewingco.com