There sure are a lot of recent restaurants in town with the pizza + beer formula, huh? It’s a trend insofar as it seems to be repeating, but not a “food trend” in the way we think about throwing truffle oil on everything or photos of overwrought entremet on Instagram. And how could pizza and beer be a food trend anyway? The #1 fast food in the world paired with America’s #1 category of alcoholic beverage barely counts as a formula so much as a common pairing.
Nevertheless, I count at least four restaurants in Richmond that have opened in the last few years whose very names suggest that gourmet pizza and craft beer are the star players. Pies & Pints is a small chain that opened their spot on Broad Street in the summer of 2016. The Hop Craft Pizza & Beer (that’s a mouthful) opened up just south of The Fan in April last year with some interesting pizza and a huge retail beer selection. EAT Restaurant Partners, Richmond’s peddlers of mediocrity, opened up Pizza & Beer of Richmond (PBR, har har) a month later up the road in the Cary Street Station development. And now Fire & Hops has taken over Stuzzi’s old spot in The Museum District.
Are there any others I’m missing that fit this bill? I don’t just mean a place like Mellow Mushroom that happens to have loads of taps, or Triple Crossing’s Fulton brewpub with their (excellent) wood-fired pizza. If I ever get the time (let’s be realistic…I won’t), I might search the city’s permit system to see whether anything similar is arriving soon. Fancy-ish pizza and microbrews seem like the sort of things that gentrifying developers would love to set up on Brookland Park Boulevard or Hull Street.