A new life for one of the area's oldest restaurants

December brings new owners, look for Del Mar Pizza

After being closed for a few months, Del Mar Pizza will reopen this December with new owners who have given the restaurant a whole new look and attitude.

"I moved here to Del Mar in 1994, and my wife at the time and I bought our pizza here," said owner Bob Fleet, who purchased the restaurant in September with his business partner Shawn Argent.

"Personally, I always wanted to own this place. I thought it was an awesome business; incredible location. I thought it would be very cool to be part of the business community of Del Mar as well," he said.

"Owning a pizza place is something that I've always dreamed of … to have this opportunity is really, really exciting," said Argent, who spend the summer managing the restaurant in order to see what changes he would want to make once he became the owner.

Fleet and Argent, who had been friends before they went into business, saw an opportunity to take the long-standing local place of business - one of Del Mar's oldest - to a new level of high quality food and good atmosphere.

A new look

The dining room is redesigned to be less crowded and the decor has also been changed from a New York Bronx-style motif to a more contemporary California beach look.

A pizza display case, a current trend in the industry, was added. The ceiling is now opened to the rafters to create a roomier feel, and both ceilings and walls have been redone.

Because the owners hope to attract more sports fans, Sony high-definition flat-screen televisions will be installed, as well as bar stools. In the kitchen, new appliances were installed along with stainless steel shelves and new cabinetry.

After the restaurant opens, the owners plan to start phase two of the remodel, which will double the restaurant's capacity by building a deck out on the sidewalk. "So people that sit at the bar enjoy the people walking by," Fleet said.

"We've got this whole feeling of the indoors being out and the outdoors being in, and it's much more engaging for our customers to have that kind of flow," he said.

In addition to the remodel, Fleet and Argent plan to use the highest-quality ingredients possible for their menu, with an emphasis on freshness.

Although some items have been eliminated, the ones that have remained have been upgraded in quality. For instance, the pizza is made with fresh dough on site and will contain a new non-greasy mozzarella cheese. They also plan on expanding their selection of pizza to include healthier options such as gluten-free pizza.

"Nothing in this restaurant will come out of a pre-made can or bottle," Fleet said. "It's all going to be made fresh daily onsite."

Going green

Del Mar Pizza will also be doing its part to be environmentally friendly. They plan on transitioning to biodegradable plates, silverware and take-out packaging.

Materials used in the remodel were also eco-friendly, such as non-lead and water-based paints and LEED-approved building materials.

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