Yes, Atlas Pizza is still moving, owners said.
“It’s just taking more time than expected,” said co-owner Vic Jordan, who runs the Gainesville pizzeria along with his brother, Mark Jordan.
There’s no set deadline but they hope to move in about six months, Jordan said.
“‘So when are you guys moving?’ is a question I probably field about 15 times a day,” he added with a laugh.
The eatery will occupy a 32,000-square-foot, two-story 305 Bradford Street building. Plans are to house a sports bar area featuring more than 20 60-inch plasma televisions; four pool tables, three dartboard alleys and a golf simulator; a fully furnished musician stage for local artists and groups; a separate family-friendly kids’ area with video games; skee ball and a basketball goal; and an area for local artists’ displays and sales, with the artists retaining all of the income.
The business has begun the process of renovating the top floor of the site formerly known as the Treasures for Your Home building, but there’s still work to be done, Jordan said.
“There were, are still are, a lot of things to renovate,” he said. “We’re still doing the floors. There are entire walls to be built.”
Atlas anticipates the move will yield 20 to 30 new jobs, and a planned porch perched above Bradford and North streets will have both open and covered seating.
“We will have about enough outdoor seating for 80 to 100. The patio will be as big as this dining room,” he said, from inside the current Washington Street digs.
With regards to the future of that space, Jordan said he hopes it adds to the flavor of the square.
“Whatever comes in, we hope they’ll do well,” he said. “While we wouldn’t want it to be the same kind of food exactly, I think another restaurant would help establish the square in people’s minds as more of a food district.”
He said the city has indicated that the new site is still enough in the downtown scope for continued participation in the square like First Friday, when patrons can take beverages outside in the designated downtown area with a wristband from participating downtown restaurants.
And for those curious about the date the doors open on Bradford, he assured folks that when the official move is imminent, they’ll let everyone know.
“When we know we’re going to be there, there will be posters announcing it well in advance, probably for one or two months,” he said.