In a community with no shortage of pizza restaurants, a new player is entering the game in January 2013.
Robert and Mindy D’Oria of Dexter are currently in the process of renovating the old art gallery at 8099 Main St. into their dream pizza tavern and restaurant.
"We're certainly excited to be opening right in downtown Dexter," Robert D'Oria said. "It’s a great location and we like the building and the fact that it has an upstairs."
Bits & Pizzas, as its called, marks the eighth pizza restaurant around the Dexter community. That fact, however, does not concern the D'Orias.
"Growing up in New Jersey, I had a different experience with pizza. When I moved to Michigan, I was horrified with the quality of ingredients. Out of survival, I learned how to make a New York-style pizza, which is what Bits & Pizzas will be known for in Dexter.
New York-style pizza originated in New York City in the early 1900s. It is known for its large, wide, thin and foldable shape. The pizza is traditionally hand-tossed, light on sauce and cheese, and cooked in a wood-fired oven.
In addition to pizza, the restaurant will offer a selection of hot and cold plates inspired by Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean and other cultures crafted by Mindy, a culinary student at Washtenaw Community College.
"The restaurant is going to be fine dining meets casual takeout," D'Oria said. "We'll certainly have the pizzas that people know and love, but we'll also offer more varities that you don't typically see.
"Our stated objective is to be the best pizza place in Michigan."
To that end, the building is being extensively altered, with walls, trees and other major property features being removed to make room to seat more than 100 customers and an outdoor dining area.
The basement area will also be used for a separate street-side entrance and bar expansion in the future, although for now the focus is on a family-friendly ground level dine-in restaurant, where patrons will be able to watch the kitchen staff prepare pizzas while they eat.
Initially Bits and Pizzas will be open from 4 to 11 p.m. and will not offer delivery, instead opening for dinner only. As the business grows, it will include a lunch buffet and expand its catering and delivery options.
"We have been doing a lot of research to determine when foot traffic is the heaviest," Robert said. "The and the summer events in town bring in a lot of people, so we'll probably be open later on Fridays if there is something going on."
Robert said the new business is expected to bring about 20 jobs to the community.
"Our four children attend Dexter Community Schools, so we have a good pipeline of folks who we plan to hire," he said.
For more information about Bits & Pizzas, visit http://bitsandpizzas.com/