Pizza Vinoteca Closes After Six Months

Lackluster sales were a factor in the shuttering of the Ballston eatery.

Pizza Vinoteca, the trendy café specializing in grilled-to-order pies and wines by the glass under $10, closed abruptly last night, apparently after the restaurant and its landlord could not come to an agreement that would allow it to stay open amidst poor sales.

“I’m sad for Ari [Malcolm, Pizza Vinoteca’s CEO]. He’s a nice man and it’s a great concept,” spokeswoman Jill Collins said this morning. “But not enough people went there, and I think that’s the issue.”

Photo by Fredde Lieberman

Pizza Vinoteca opened in December in Ballston. The busy holidays, followed by terrible weather and frigid temperatures, may have played a role in the restaurant’s failure to gain traction. Competition for diners has also increased in recent months with the arrival of other neighborhood newcomers such as Kapnos Taverna and SER.

Vinoteca isn't the only short-timer to have struggled at 800 North Glebe Road. Protein Bar, which opened in the same space in early 2013, closed last August after CEO Matt Matros reported to various news outlets that “we weren’t pleased with our specific location.”

“[Malcolm] had no choice” but to close after last night’s service ended, Collins said, because the landlord, JBG Companies, wasn’t willing to give him any breaks on the rent.

Representatives of JBG were not immediately available for comment.

“It’s lots of square footage in there,” Collins said, “and you’re selling an $8 pizza. You’ve got to sell a lot of pizza.”