Chorney-Booth: New ghost kitchens pop-up on the local takeout scene

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While Zoto understands why traditional restaurants prefer that their customers pick up their orders rather than use a delivery app, he says that third-party apps do make it a lot easier for takeout-only businesses to operate, since building a delivery infrastructure from scratch is a lot more difficult and expensive than it may seem. Customers who want to skip delivery can pick up their pasta at the Joey’s kitchen (3048 9th St. S.E.).

“We wanted to offer a premium product but make it recession-proof so people could afford it,” Zoto says. “We want to offer fast, casual pasta that’s high quality but make it convenient and approachable for most people.”

Another pandemic newbie is the brand new Pink Door Pizza (pinkdoorpizza.com), the latest venture from the Starbelly Group. Pink Door is set up in the old Beer Revolution space in MacKenzie Towne (#180 4307 130th Ave. S.E.), which the group recently leased to build a new full-service restaurant concept. That project is temporarily on hold, but in mid-December, Starbelly started rolling out pizzas under the Pink Door name so the space wouldn’t go unused while in-person dining was on shutdown.

Chef Justin Lall has opted for a thicker pizza crust, topped with either classic (“Old Faithful”) toppings or more imaginative combos (“Funky Bunch”) like the Starbelly Burger with crumbled ground beef and crispy fried onion and the Nashville North with fried chicken and dill pickles. While Starbelly Group is planning to go ahead with the originally planned concept for the 5,000-square-foot space later this winter, Pink Door Pizza will continue with pickup and delivery only.

To order from any of these restaurants, either visit their websites directly or search for them on Skip the Dishes, DoorDash or Uber Eats (not all restaurants are available on each platform).

Elizabeth Chorney-Booth can be reached at elizabooth@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter at @elizaboothy or Instagram at @elizabooth.

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