Wood-fired pizza restaurant opening in South Hill
If all goes as planned, Fat Zach’s, the wood-fired pizza restaurant, will open its third brick-and-mortar location in South Hill in early 2022.
“We’ve always wanted to work our way in that direction,” said Zach Johns, who co-owns Fat Zach’s with wife Shanna Johns. The couple founded their pizza truck in 2018 in downtown Puyallup. In March 2020, they opened their first brick-and-mortar in downtown Sumner. Last year, they expanded to downtown Puyallup and took over the Sparks Deli space.
“There’s so much traffic on Meridian, we hear from friends and family, they don’t want to drive down into the valley for pizza and our delivery app cannot make it up the hill from Sumner or Puyallup. Knowing we’ll get natural traffic at that site,” it was a no brainer, said Shanna.
Zach added, “There are so many huge chain restaurants up there, but there aren’t a lot of hang-out places that are destinations. We wanted to create a space on the hill for that.”
The couple will open their third location in the former home of Black Bear Frozen Yogurt at 10219 132nd Street Ct. E., next door to Starbucks and in the same parking lot as Rainier Growlers, Rose Garden Chinese, Pho Tai and Ivar’s.
They hope to open by the end of January, but that could be pushed into February.
HOT TIP: Last week, the Johns sent one of their mobile trucks to serve in the parking lot of the South Hill location. Check their social for the next time they’re serving at the South Hill site.
The South Hill location will be their biggest yet with about 74 seats. They broke through the wall into the neighboring space that previously held a dry cleaning business.
Fat Zach’s in South Hill will be fast casual like their other restaurants. Diners order at the counter and find their own seat.
They’ve reconfigured the interior to create a comfortable, family-friendly space. “We wanted the South Hill location as open as possible,” said Zach. “The guests will be able to see everything happen. They’ll see the pizza made, thrown in the oven, sliced.”
Added Shanna, “There are some cool nooks for seating.” She said a few of the nooks will hold broad communal tables that can accommodate large families. That side of the dining room will be equipped with a fireplace, as well.
FORNO BRAVO OVEN AT FAT ZACH’S
The wood-fired pizza oven at the South Hill location will be a Forno Bravo, the same oven as the ones on their three mobile trucks and at their Sumner restaurant (they use the Wood Stone gas hybrid oven at the downtown Puyallup location that was a remnant from Sparks Deli).
In true Northwest fashion, the Forno Bravo oven will be fueled by apple and cherry woods, which are prolifically available in the region thanks to our proximity to the apple and cherry orchards east of the Cascades.
THE MENU AT FAT ZACH’S
The menu will be similar to the other locations with a core menu of 14 pizzas, plus the option to build-your-own pie.
The popular NBD pizza will, of course, be on the menu. That’s the dill-and-ranch pickle pizza that the Johns came up with a few years ago. “I was a typical pregnant lady who had pickles in the fridge. A lot of pickles,” said Shanna.
“The pizza came to me early in the morning. Jackson was a baby and I went to warm the bottle,” explained Zach. “I started eating pickles right out of the jar from the fridge. It was really early in the morning. I thought, ‘wow, what would these be like with a red sauce?’ Then, I thought, ‘No, that would be gross.’” Then I thought ranch sauce, and it was one of those organic things that happened. I never thought in a million years it would be as popular as it is,” he said.
That wood-fired pie comes with a fresh sprinkle of dill on a pie flavored with ranch and covered in mozzarella and dill pickles. “The kids like it with the sriracha swirl,” added Zach.
For South Hill diners, the menu also will include garlic bread, garlic knots, wings and salads. For desserts, they offer dessert pizzas called Sugar Mamas and bite-sized dessert balls called Sugar Babies. They also team up with Puyallup cupcake bakery Wanna Cupcake and offer their cupcakes for dessert at their locations.
FAT ZACH’S SOUTH HILL
South Hill coming soon: 10219 132nd Street E.
Puyallup: 621 5th St. S.W.; 253-328-3415
Sumner: 2160 136th Ave. E.; 253-987-7332
SPEAKING OF PIZZA…
Did you see my stories about Millhouse, the pizza and pasta restaurant, opening in the former Europa Bistro space in Tacoma? Read more here.
Also, the Tacoma area is getting a Chicago-style deep dish pizza restaurant. Read about that here.