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Piada Italian Street Food, a casual, authentic Italian eatery serving fine-fast Italian cuisine, will open its first Minnesota location inside Mall of America. The restaurant is projected to open before the holiday season.
The restaurant’s made-to-order concept, which offers guests an array of healthy and indulgent options from a selection of more than 30 choices, is centered around the Piada. Piadas are made up of a thin crust, handmade dough, which is freshly baked on a stone grill and filled with a selection of Italian-inspired ingredients and hand rolled.
“We’ve been looking for some time to identify just the right location to bring Piada to Minneapolis, and Mall of America is that ideal choice for us,” says Chris Doody, Piada founder. “A restaurant that is as unique as Piada—with high-quality, distinctive, and fresh Italian cuisine that is made to order for each guest—needs to launch in an equally exciting destination. We think we’ve found that spot, and we’re ready to welcome Mall visitors for our unmatched Italian dining experience.”
Piada’s Mall of America location is a 1,200-square-foot space and accommodates eight guests in a private area, while other guests can enjoy shared seating in the food court. The interior space will be located within Mall of America’s new $325 million expansion. Piada’s space is designed with a blend of white tiles, Carrara marble, brushed aluminum, and painted brick. The restaurant’s contemporary European style is a dramatic departure from the typical old-world Italian décor.
Doody says that unlike other fast-casual concepts, Piada is more broadly appealing and versatile, with many fresh choices of grill items, sauces, dressings, and toppings. The restaurant’s three main entrees are hand-rolled Piadas, Pasta Bowls, and Chopped Salads. Diners can choose between meats like steak, Italian sausage, and salmon; sauces like Pomodoro, Alfredo, and pesto; and toppings like pancetta, olives, and artichokes. Also on the menu are soups, calamari, and two different kinds of breadsticks—Parmigiano-Reggiano and pepperoni—served with warm dipping sauce.
The ordering process at Piada takes around 90 seconds, and the average customer check is less than $10. Guests also have the option to enjoy Italian teas and sodas, as well as soft drinks and bottled water.
Piada expects to hire 40 employees and will begin hiring in September. As a chef-driven concept, Piada’s food is cooked under strict culinary standards and emphasizes using ingredients that are fresh and of the highest quality. Recipes are inspired by traditional, simple Italian cooking techniques and highlight flavors like basil, rosemary, and San Marzano tomatoes.
“Our chefs understand what guests are looking for: healthier and better quality food that’s convenient and fast,” says Doody. “At Piada, guests don’t have to sacrifice quality and flavor for speed and value. And their experiences are unique because their orders are completely customizable and we offer guests high-quality food that elevates their visit.”
The Mall of America location will be the first Piada site in the state, but the company intends to grow the community and open several more locations Minneapolis, including a restaurant in Chanhassen by early 2016.
Piada was inspired by the roadside family-run food carts and markets found in Rimini, Italy, and the company’s first restaurant opened in 2010. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Piada has locations throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan, and is opening locations in Houston and Minneapolis, with an eye toward opening 15 new locations in 2016.