White Wolf Cafe is getting into the pizza business.
Owner Michael Hennessey is converting the space a few doors up from the popular cafe that has been used as an event space into a pizza parlor of sorts. The new restaurant will be called Wolfie’s Pizzamia. Hennessey says it will be a little more upscale than an average pizza joint, but “not too hoity toity.” He says he wanted to turn the underperforming event space, which was called Harrison Graham’s, into something that would generate more revenue. The challenge, however, is that parking along that stretch of Orange Avenue is at a premium. So a major focus of the pizzeria, says Hennessey, will be on delivery, which he expects to be within a two-mile radius.
The pizzaiolo will be White Wolf’s chef, Jason Schofield, who is even going to the trouble of breaking down whole hogs to make his own sausage for the pies.
Much is happening within that pizza delivery radius and that area, which is sometimes referred to as Ivanhoe Village, Ivanhoe Row or Antiques Row (White Wolf Cafe started out as an antique shop that also served food). A couple of blocks down Orange Avenue a new bar with the not-so-subtle name The Hammered Lamb is in the permitting phase and is expected to open soon. Word is that a Panera Bread will open up the block, near the sprawling Florida Hospital, and rumors have it that a First Watch will open in the plaza at Mills Avenue and Virginia Drive where Fresh Market is under construction.
Wolfie’s Pizzamia will have a soft opening on February 3, Super Bowl Sunday, which is to pizza what Mother’s Day is to brunch. Following the soft opening, the pizzeria will be open every day except Monday, often until midnight to accommodate the crowds that flock to the area in the evenings. At least those who can find parking.