Wood Fired Pizza and Rooftop Pub Coming to Downtown Altoona

 In News

Downtown Altoona is adding big time to its growing independently owned and operated culinary scene with the announcement of a unique multi-faceted dining and drinking experience to be located in the former Shirley’s Shoes building on the corner of 11th Avenue and 14th Street.

The building is currently undergoing a major transformation that when completed will include a menu and experience unlike any other in the area. The ingredients will be fresh, focusing on locally sourced items whenever possible that will compliment unique items from Naples, Italy. At the heart of the space will be a wood-fired pizza oven shipped directly from Naples.

“Traditional recipes will be at the heart of the menu, that were inspired through my traveling and training in Naples. They will be sourced from local, fresh, seasonal ingredients,” said John Hrivnak, owner of JJ Hadley & Company, the ownership group leading the project. “A majority of the items will be fresh and made in-house daily from the dough to the mozzarella, ricotta and sauce, it just tastes better that way.”

The physical transformations of the former shoe store are significant and will take it back to many of its original features. It will include a new façade, lighting, signage, windows opening onto the street front. “It will also include a micro-brewery focusing on ciders with a first of its kind rooftop dining and drinking experience allowing patrons to enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains and central plaza,” Hrivnak added. “It is important that we create more outdoor spaces and experiences like this.”

The location will also house the first off-site location of JOOS, the Hollidaysburg based cafe for health and wellness serving fresh cold pressed juices, smoothies and more using fresh ingredients.

“John is a true visionary and sees the changes happening here in our region. We are excited to be participating on this project and working with John to bring his vision to life,” said Stephen McKnight, President/CEO of ABCD Corp. “This redevelopment project will add to the Central Business District’s evolving renaissance which has been underway now for many years. Vibrant, attractive, downtowns don’t just happen. They are the product of vision, investment and partnerships.” McKnight added. “There is a real and growing confidence in the future of Altoona and Blair County, especially among next generation investors. John and his project are more evidence of Downtown Altoona’s renaissance.”

This project represents a total investment in excess of $575,000 in Downtown Altoona and should be completed and open for business by late Fall of 2018.  ABCD Corp. is providing financing support for equipment and façade improvements through its financing programs. Hrivnak credits the network of partners who he has worked with to get to this point.

“I can’t thank the numerous people that have provided guidance and expertise to assist this endeavor enough,” said Hrivnak. “Pat Miller at ABCD Corporation was a vital part of the building search in Downtown and through offering their financing programs. Pat Nagle from Altoona First Savings Bank as our lead lender and John Horell from KIZ Resources for his linkages to vast tax credit programs. They along with the City of Altoona’s planning and code officials, have been instrumental in making this happen,” Hrivnak said.

“We can’t wait for the grand opening, sitting on the rooftop deck looking out across Heritage Plaza and our impressive mountain skyline while enjoying a drink, wood fired pizza and the company of great people celebrating the First Frontier – Blair County,” McKnight added.

You can keep up-to-date on the project through Instagram @project_1400_11th

ABCD Corp. provides a myriad of business financing programs and is dedicated to business growth and wealth creation throughout the Blair County region.  Click here for ABCD Financing.

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