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First Look Inside Chick's on Washington Avenue

The new neighborhood hub opens April 22 with a block party     

Rachel Vigoda

Graduate Hospital, Point Breeze, and Newbold residents will soon have a new neighborhood spot to call their own. Chick's is opening this Saturday, April 22, at 1807 Washington Avenue. It’s an address without many restaurants or bars nearby, but Chick’s is big enough to accommodate a lot of neighbors.

The restaurant spans two properties, with a dining room and a long bar with 24 taps on one side and a take-out pizza shop on the other. It’s roughly 4,000 square feet altogether, says Gina Narducci, who owns Chick’s with her husband, Philip — though tall ceilings make it feel twice that size. There are seats for 120, with 75 seats in the main dining room, 20 at the bar, and about 25 on the pizza side.

The dining room and bar open Saturday. The take-out business will open a week later, on April 29. Delivery, through services like Grubhub, is slated to start a week after that.

Philip Narducci

Saturday’s grand opening party kicks off at 4 p.m., with free pizza, free beer, and several hours of live music. The block will be closed off; Philip expects at least 1,000 people to turn out. The neighbors he’s met so far have been enthusiastic about the new restaurant, he says, and after about six months of Chick’s signage on the building, “we haven’t had one single objection.”

Still, Philip is feeling a little anxious about the opening: “I’ve been a nervous wreck,” he says. “I want it to go perfectly.”

The space has an industrial vibe, with those high ceilings, plus big windows, a garage door-style opening, dark wood, a gray scale color scheme with orange mixed in, and wire-caged Edison bulbs. There are two tables set slightly apart, in the “VIP section,” Philip says jokingly, and a digital jukebox that doubles as a photo booth. Pictures can be emailed or sent right to Facebook.

The menu is from Fred Ryan, formerly of Devil’s Den, Moshulu, and Silk City. Jennifer Choplin is “the pizza goddess,” Philip says.

Chef Fred Ryan hosts a tasting with Chick’s staff

The pizzas range from the basic Old School, with tomato, cheese, and olive oil, to the Old Forge, with mashed potato, mozzarella, fontina, sour cream, red onion, scallion, and chive. The Spicy Boy with tomato, fior di latte, chorizo iberico, cherry pepper, and hot honey is a standout. There’s even an inventive vegan option (along with a tomato pie): the dairy-free Lauren is topped with white bean spread, spinach, lemon, tomato, olive oil, and smoked paprika.

Ryan’s menu features small plates, like duck wontons, four-cheese mac and cheese, and wings with a range of sauces; salads that can be enhanced with chicken, salmon, steak, or shrimp; an array of mussels; hearty sandwiches like chicken parm and roast pork; and a handful of larger entrees.

The take-out side will open at 7 a.m. for breakfast, while the dining room will get going at 11 a.m.

Take a look inside: