Dino’s Tomato Pie is kind of like a Denny at E Olive Way time machine. Its next stop is a small start in reversing the neighborhood’s trend of restaurant concepts and developments pushing out the last vestiges of the Capitol Hill music scene.
“One, I like the idea of anti-gentrification, where small music venues are closing, we can actually add something,” Brandon Pettit tells CHS about a project he hopes will eventually create a new music and events venue at Dino’s.
Two, Pettit has a Dino’s-sized underground level to work with below the bustling pizza joint.
The project will move forward this spring and summer as Dino’s basement is transformed with some paint and some facilities into a new event space and private party room. The “expensive part,” Pettit says, comes next with an eventual plan to fully transform the space with soundproofing and fire safety upgrades into a new music venue with a separate entrance and a separate but related identity. Pettit hopes to fill the schedule with a mix of music, events, and rentals. Name to be determined.
For a similarly-sized model, look at the 2012 subterranean debut of Barboza, carved out of the space below Neumos. Neumos, by the way, is slated to reopen soon after a round of construction and upgrades has closed the club to start 2017. A grand re-opening party has been set for March 8th. Meanwhile, Dino’s will also have a new neighbor soon as the Hula Hula Lounge is moving in to the former home of Clever Dunne’s.
Pettit opened Dino’s in March 2016 in a space formerly held down by a money mart on the corner of the E Olive Way block home to Montana and a collection of unique food and drink providers including Crumble and Flake, Tortas Condesa, Kedai Makan, Revolver, and Hillside Bar. With “pies round or square” and the aesthetic of some “random Jersey pizza tavern,” Pettit says Dino’s is rounding out as more of a “pizza bar” these days. In that vein, we should point out that Dino’s now offers legit round-pie slices for your convenience.
From the beginning, Pettit described Dino’s as a “walkable” part of the neighborhood and a project that catered to the residents at the E Olive Way elevation of Capitol Hill. Grabbing a slice will add to that. Having your very own neighborhood live music venue should, too.
Dino’s is located at 1524 E Olive Way. You can learn more and keep track of updates at dinostomatopie.com.