Pita Pit location to open Downtown by Opening DayWritten by Jay Hathaway | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Downtowners will soon have a new choice for lunch in the Warehouse District. A franchise of the Pita Pit is opening March 31 at 30 S. St. Clair St.
Franchise owner Kate Dake said the area’s emergence as an entertainment district was appealing when choosing a new location.
“There’s no other service like the Pita Pit over there,” she said. “There’s Jimmy John’s and Subway [on the other side of Downtown], but there’s no quick service in the Warehouse District.”
“We fell in love with the space,” she added. “It’s an old historic building, and used to be a livery, among other things, so that’s pretty cool.”
Dake said she and her co-owners — including her husband Tom and brother Steve Gesicki — are very much looking forward to their first baseball season in the neighborhood, which begins April 4 this year.
“Our goal all along has been to be up and operating by Opening Day,” she said.
To introduce themselves to St. Clair Village, the Dakes held a holiday party and got to know some of the neighbors. She said employees are sometimes treated to Mud Hens and Walleye games.
“We are huge fans of the Walleye and the Mud Hens,” she said. “We’re hoping for some opportunities to work with them, as well.”
Pita Pit was founded in Ontario, Canada, in 1995 and in 2005 a group of investors and franchisees gained the rights to start Pita Pit USA, based in Idaho. There are currently more than 200 locations in the U.S., and more than 450 worldwide.
The Dakes currently own two other Pita Pit locations. They purchased their first in Bowling Green from its franchisee, then opened one of their own on Dorr Street near the University of Toledo.
The Dakes, who have been living in the Cleveland area, originally looked to open a restaurant there, but Gesicki worked as a delivery man at the Bowling Green Pita Pit while attending school, and had worked his way up to management. It was this connection that brought the Dakes into the business.
While her husband has continued his career in construction management, Dake now makes running the restaurants her full-time job, in addition to mom duties.
Dake said one of the most appealing things about Pita Pit is its uniqueness.
“The whole concept of what Pita Pit is, is that it’s a healthy thing, but it’s a quick thing,” she said. “There really aren’t a whole lot of fast options for healthy food. We have a lot of quality meats and sauces, and fewer ingredients.”
Dake said the menu features a mix of Mediterranean and Greek options like falafel and hummus.
“We also have lots of sandwich options like prime rib and Philly steak, and a lot of vegetarian options,” she said.
“Then we have our chicken breast, and it’s our most versatile menu choice. You can do buffalo chicken, or chicken and ham with pineapple. Really, each pita is customized for every person who walks into the store.”
Although nothing concrete has been planned, Dake said expansion is definitely part of the long-term business goal.
“We have an optimistic goal of 10 stores between Toledo and Cleveland, and we’re just going to take it slow and steady, and take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.”
Tags: based in Idaho, Bowling Green, buffalo chicken, Canada, Cleveland, Dorr Street, Franchise owner Kate Dake, Jimmy John’s and Subway, Mediterranean and Greek options like falafel and hummus, Ontario, or chicken and ham with pineapple, Original Pita, Pita Pit, Pita Pit USA, St. Clair Village, Toledo, University of Toledo, Walleye and the Mud Hens, Warehouse District