For junior Joe Palazzo, bringing any restaurant with authentic New York pizza or bagels to fill a void in College Park is a plus.
The civil engineering major and New York native, along with all university students, will have access to these goods when The Hotel at the University of Maryland brings four new businesses with it when it opens in January 2017, city officials said.
Franklins Oyster Bar and Grill, Potomac Pizza, Bagels ‘n Grinds and Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa all will have locations in the building. Potomac Pizza and Bagels ‘n Grinds are both local brands managed by Restaurant Zone Inc.
“Maryland bagels are worse than the pizza,” Palazzo said. “The bagels in Maryland make me proud to be a New Yorker.”
The opportunity to bring authentic New York pizza and bagels to College Park — specifically underneath The Hotel — will be a perfect fit for the city, said Adam Greenberg, Restaurant Zone president and founder.
“This hotel and conference center is the best location in all of College Park,” Greenberg said. “With the amount of traffic that the hotel will produce, that will give us a good baseline. With all the students, professors, residents and other businesses around, we think it is a home run location for all aspects of our business.”
Potomac Pizza has been a fixture in this state since 1978. College Park will be the eatery’s fifth location in the state, supplementing establishments in Chevy Chase, Potomac, Rockville and Gaithersburg.
Greenberg said having a reputation in surrounding areas will help the College Park location’s success.
“We are looking to have a great presence in College Park,” he said. “It helps that people in the Montgomery County and Northwest D.C. area have been going to Potomac Pizza for 30-plus years.”
Potomac Pizza will have a dining room with about 80 seats and a bar, and customers will be able to dine in, pick up or get their food delivered, he said.
Greenberg said he is not worried about this adding to the plethora of pizza shops throughout College Park.
“One thing I learned a long time ago: You do your homework, you do your research and you do the best job you can,” he said. “You can’t worry about anyone else.”
Bagels ‘n Grinds, a full-service bagel and coffee shop, will offer sandwiches, soups and salads. It will be like “a bagel place on steroids,” Greenberg said. The College Park location will be the second in the state, with the original store located in Hanover.
The restaurant will feature its own $50,000 water-treatment center that allows it to use its own water on the site and make everything fresh daily, he added.
“We know there are a lot of future development plans for College Park, and this is the first big commercial piece,” Greenberg said. “It is going to be huge. It is going to help transform College Park into one of the top college towns in the country; that is what College Park needs.”
The owners of Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa could not be reached for comment. However, Michael Stiefvater, College Park’s economic development coordinator, said the spa will fit nicely into the hotel.
“The Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa is a great compliment to The Hotel,” he said, adding that it opened its first location in 1910 and has 29 locations nationwide. “It fits with the luxurious appeal the hotel is going for.”
Stiefvater said bringing in a mix of local and national brands like these is something the city strives for.
“It’s important for the city to have a mix of nationally recognizable brands and unique local ventures,” he said. “It allows us to cater to the varying needs of customers.”
CORRECTION: A previous version of the photo caption listed the site as belonging to a Courtyards hotel. The site is that of The Hotel at the University of Maryland. The caption has been updated.