AMMAZZA is owned and operated by Hugh Connerty and Vaughn Connerty who sought out Chandlee and Sons Construction Company to create their second pizzeria location in Decatur, Georgia. Their first location is at 591 Edgewood Avenue SE in the Fourth Ward area of Atlanta. Chris Fuhrmeister, with Eater.com, posted an article and interview with co-owner, Hugh Connerty, about both locations on February 1, 2016.
Seth Chandlee, CEO of Chandlee Holdings, LLC (of which Chandlee and Sons Construction Company is a part), commented in early April, “Hugh and Vaughn are friends with two friends of mine – a small world. We are looking forward to getting the new location open as soon as possible. The ovens never go off and the coals are always hot! The design will utilize antique reclaimed wood constructed into a band that will go around the top parapet.”
Ammazza prepares their Neapolitan-style pizzas in real wood burning brick ovens – no power or gas needed. The owners commented on April 11, “We like your team, so let’s do this thing!”
On May 15, Tim Huffman, Project Manager, visited the website to install the lock box and take the photos before the work was to begin. By May 24 all of the old hardwood floors were removed discovering there are several layers of floor materials. Tim determined where the HVAC is to be located.
The exterior of the building was painted and the document and plans review stage was wrapped up on June 2. The next day the dumpster was moved to allow the pod to be removed per the owners request. Tim met with the owners, Hugh and Vaughn, four days later to make changes and revise the plans – a stop work order issued.
On June 20 the plans were submitted to Vernon Jones, a county representative, as we waited for the Food Service Permit application. The final step was to receive the check for the watershed fees and construction deposit and the permitting. The lot was staked June 27 and the lot cleared three days later. Excavation markers were placed the following day, along with stripping and stockpiling the top soil. The rough grade of the lot was done July 4 and excavated for the foundation two days after. Work on the foundation and footings began immediately.
The permit was held up in the Watershed Department as the back flow system failed in mid July, which required a RPZ (reduced pressure zone) device to protect the water supply from contamination and retesting. Once we passed we were able to move forward. Framing of the first floor was underway July 20. The permit was finally approved on August 23.
Work began in earnest with the crew framing the first floor, then the second floor, followed by the roof and the rough in of the plumbing. The installation of the frames and doors followed at the same time as the paper was installed on the roof and the basement slab was poured. The exterior siding went up next along with the exterior trim work. Electrical and speciality rough in began immediately afterwards while the garage slab was poured and the rough in the HVAC began.
The brick arch forms were placed and the work on the brick exterior began taking us through September and into October. Insulation installation began in the first week of October along with some exterior landscaping and prepping for paint.
On October 12, Project Manager, Michael Reel logged that the paperwork was needed from the owners approving the demolition work required to install the sets of ovens for both locations. The demolition requires a temporary store front until the proper doors can be installed. For the Edgewood location this will occur while business must operate as usual. Michael toured the site this day to plan his steps to demolish the existing structure, move in and install the ovens and quickly secure the locations with a temporary walls.
Seth Chandlee commented on October 15, 2016, “Ammazza on Edgewood Avenue is a high class restaurant and bar that produces home made Neapolitan pizza, antipasti, cheeses, breads, Italian desserts, and more in high-end, Italian craftsmen-built ovens. Our company remodeled the ovens for the Edgewood location and the Decatur location, which is a design/build project scheduled to open soon. These beasts (ovens) require about $30,000 of work just to get them into place at both locations. We have been waiting on the arrival of the ovens for six months and they just arrived! It is time to tear out the front wall at both restaurants. Currently, there is one SBA loan pending for four locations and until the loan is approved construction can only progress is small stages. We are working on liquor licenses at present."
The installation of the drywall began on the 18th along with the installation of the interior tile and trim work and the roof shingles rounding out the month of October 2016.
The Decatur location is in the same space as the former Twister Soul – at 314 East Howard Avenue and it has an amazing patio for outdoor dining. The original location is at 591 Edgewood Avenue, SE in downtown Atlanta serving Italian dishes in ‘airy, urban-rustic digs with a full bar’.