Checking in with Rise Pizzaworks, Brix and others

These days, you can customize just about anything: fashion accessories, electronic devices—even hair color. But, when it comes to pizza, says Rise Pizzaworks owner Andrew Vaughn, creating a special slice is way too tough.

Vaughn admits that the previous concept of the restaurant was too complicated and confusing. “Sometimes it took people 15 minutes [to order]!” he says. Now, patrons can be in and out before they can say “mozzarella.”

“Customers have no problem building a whole pizza,” he says, “but, choosing toppings for one slice, for some reason it blew their minds.” That is, until last week. 

With the help of friend and fellow pizza maker Christian Tamm (owner of perennial Best Of C-VILLE winner Christian’s Pizza), Vaughn has overhauled the apparently complicated concept of Rise. Instead of ordering a custom slice, hungry ‘za lovers are now able to choose from premade slices. You’ll still see some favorites on the menu—Vaughn says he’s keeping the gluten-free pizza, for instance—but that “it’s definitely a different vibe when you come in,” he tells us.

And the prices have changed, too. Vaughn says now you can get a slice of cheese for just $2. Plus, the menu also includes a bunch of sandwiches—the Italian sub and the avocado and tomato sammy come to mind—and a few salads. 

So far, Vaughn says, the response has been great. Folks are getting their pizza more quickly, and have room to try a few different slices. 

“[The old way], they’d get a quarter pie and not be hungry for another.” With the premade slices, customers are free to experiment. As Vaughn says, “People like to mix it up.”

Brix closes

Tough economic times means bad news for Brix Marketplace owner Karen Laetare. She announced last week that her Pantops restaurant is closing. But don’t mourn her tasty limoncello cake just yet—the Martha Jefferson Outpatient Care Center location, which opened this past June, will remain open. 

Ham it up

Smell that? It’s ham, and it’s coming from The HoneyBaked Ham Co. & Café. Now open in the Rio Hill Shopping Center, the company specializes in tasty boneless hams, glazed turkeys and sandwiches piled high with both. Our lips are a-smackin’!

Turkey trot

Vegans unite! On Saturday, November 20, Studio 206 will host a two-hour seminar on cooking a flavorful Thanksgiving meal vegan-style. Keith Molyneaux and Jennifer Livingston will teach knife skills and ingredient selection and will discuss nutritional facts. Plus, you’ll get to taste-test. Tickets are $25. Visit for more information and to RSVP.

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