Detroit’s forthcoming Mootz Pizzeria and Bar is now looking more like a winter opening. Co-owner Tony Sacco tells Eater that the 4,000-square-foot dine-in restaurant and pizza-by-the-slice counter at 1230 Library St. is now on track to debut in late December or early January.
Sacco and his business partner Dean Walters confirmed plans to open the new downtown establishment in April. The restaurant will seat roughly 100 customers with an 18-seat bar and an additional 30 seats on the patio near its main entrance on Library Street. A separate entrance through the Belt Alley will provide customers with a more casual grab-and-go style pizza slice option.
The main event at Mootz will, of course, be the New York-style pizza. Sacco has worked in the restaurant industry for more than 50 years and started out in pizzerias when he was 15 years old. Still, he and his partner have brought in an additional pizza expert Bruno DiFabio to consult on the pie recipe. Sacco says each pizza at Mootz will be made with dough aged for “two to three days” and baked in a stone gas-fired oven. Mootz will feature a full bar with 20 beer taps alongside wine, champagne, and cocktails.
For Sacco, opening a restaurant in downtown Detroit has been a dream for many years. “I’ve tried to do something downtown going back to 30 years ago,” he says. Sacco’s son is an employee at Quicken Loans and eventually got him in contact with Dan Gilbert’s real estate arm Bedrock to finally make his vision for a downtown restaurant come to fruition.
Mootz is currently aiming to wrap up construction by mid-December and will then jump into staff training. The restaurant is working with Carmine Martone of Martone Design Studio in Northville on the look for the space, and Sacco estimates the overall renovation will cost roughly $2 million. The interior of the pizzeria will feature a mixture of tables and booths in the spirit of classic New York Italian restaurants but slightly “higher-end,” according to Sacco. If all goes well the Mootz will open sometime around the holidays with a more official opening sometime in early January. Stay tuned.