The owner of Hello Pizza revealed the new Edina restaurant is setting its sights on a March open date, during a wine and beer license hearing earlier this week.
Ann Kim, who also lives in Edina, spoke before the City Council Tuesday evening regarding what will be her second pizzeria in the area. Kim said the restaurant will have 32 seats in total, with a focus on by-the-slice sales during lunch and family-oriented traffic in the evenings.
"We expect people picking up whole pies to go or coming in for a quick bite to eat before a movie or something," Kim said. "Our pizzas are available by the slice, but they're also available by whole pies. If a family did decide to stay and dine and have a whole pizza, they could do that and have a glass of wine or beer as well."
Kim likened the dining experience at Hello Pizza to Twin Cities franchise Punch Pizza, referring to it as "counter service."
"You come up, you order, the ticket goes in and then basically we'll have bussers and runners that will go and bring the slices to whoever ordered them," she said. "Even though it's not full service, there will be someone running it to them—they won't be picking it up physically themselves and taking it to the table."
Mayor Jim Hovland joked Kim's popular Pizzeria Lola is a "real asset to Edina"—it's technically located just over the border, in Minneapolis—and asked her if they'll be offering "valet pizza."
"You know, the funny thing is Pizzeria Lola is actually in the Minneapolis municipality, across the street is Edina," Kim replied. "And with Hello Pizza, we're actually on the Edina side and across the street is Minneapolis."
Council members unanimously approved the restaurant's wine and beer license, but have concerns regarding the lack of parking in the surrounding area. Hello Pizza will be located at 3904 Sunnyside Road, sandwiched between The Convention Grill and Bruegger's Bagels. The same location previously housed the Franklin Street Bakery.
Kim said her new neighbors don't seem to have any qualms regarding on-sale wine and beer at the restaurant, but did note they are "very protective of the parking area."
"In the end, I think they've been really happy about what we've brought to the community and the neighborhood," Kim said. "They've been really excited that they can actually walk and have a meal during a snowstorm. There's not much to choose from in terms of dining in that neighborhood, so I think we've become a real big asset to the community."
The business will be a nonconforming use in the location, according to Planning Director Cary Teague, as there aren't enough parking spaces on site to serve customers. It will be the same situation Franklin Street Bakery faced, as Hello Pizza doesn't plan to house any more seats than their predecessors did.
The wine and beer license was also reviewed by the Edina Police Department, which found "nothing to prevent [them] from obtaining" the license. According to a Police Department memo, Kim had her staff take part in an alcohol awareness program earlier this week.