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From Las Vegas to Dundee: Project Pie is just weeks away

From Las Vegas to Dundee: Project Pie is just weeks away

At least five people tried in vain to enter Project Pie when STV Dundee paid a 30 minute visit yesterday.

Apparently one hungry passerby was so intent on a slice of 'pie' that he initially refused to move on, forcing CEO Niall Howard to open the door and explain that Dundee's newest pizza place hasn't quite opened just yet.

The hungry local, like the others, was eventually persuaded to leave but the enthusiasm is surely a sign of the genuine excitement that seems to be building ahead of the American pizza chain opening its first European branch.

And why not? When US-based firm Project Pie opened its first overseas outlet in Manila, the Philippines, in July 2013, it was so well received that within just six months another three branches had opened up in the city.

  (STV Dundee)
via STV via STV

Caught in the act: the eatery attracted a lot of attention from passersby.

Despite not being open, the Reform Street pizzeria already seems to have a few fans here and, demonstrating the place's growing popularity, an online Pizza Passport competition has received over 30,000 entries.

It's an impressive stat, and the hungry Dundee public won't have to wait too much longer as Niall revealed to STV that he was eyeing a weekend in February as a potential opening date - although he couldn't say for sure.

"It’ll be sometime from the February 7 onwards," he said.

"We’re having to do a first fill shipment from the States, so we’re kinda dependent on that ship delivering special ingredients that are unique to the brand.

"We’re dependent on them turning up, but it will be soon. From there we'll have to get everything else lined up but from the seventh onwards we should be in good shape.

"I genuinely think Dundee is excited about us opening - in all quarters too. The press, the council, local businesses, school kids - everybody going by has been looking in."

Project Pie founder on how he has jumped from Las Vegas to Dundee

Read More

The company, which was recently listed as the number one emerging brand in the USA, employs a simple approach to food: 'Design. Build. Eat.' and they'll have you doing all three in record time too.

There's no set menu, and customers build their own pizza from scratch, but given the place's snazzy layout and a 680 degree oven that can cook 20 pizzas in less than three minutes - at the same time - this shouldn't take too long.

The tagline is “Everday Artisan Pizza,”and only fresh ingredients, right down to the dough base, are used and the pizzas come in one size, at one price - which is yet to be revealed.

"The pizzas are all 12 inches," said Niall. "And we have 28 toppings available - I can't tell you what these are right now but we'll make them available for customers soon."

"Half a million pounds" has apparently gone into getting the B-listed former bank building ready to serve pizzas, and looking around the place it seems like lots of it was spent on design.

Project Pie in Pictures

  (STV Dundee)
via STV via STV

The pizzeria's design is conducive to an 'in and out' style of ordering which means that, while there is no table service, you can be in and out in just five minutes if you're in a rush.

  (STV Dundee)
via STV via STV

The 680 Farenheit oven can cook 20 pizzas in under three minutes and is essential to the place's 'fast casual' ethos.

  (STV Dundee)
via STV via STV

Customers can choose from 28 toppings, including a range of cheeses, meats, vegetables and herbs and spices.

  (Project Pie)
via STV via STV

The pizzas themselves can look however you want them too, as customers chose each and every one of the toppings.

  (STV Dundee)
via STV via STV
  (STV Dundee)
via STV via STV

Like another well known fast food outlet, Subway, Project Pie uses a "conveyor belt" style of ordering and customers choose various toppings as part of a moving queue before paying at the end.

  (STV Dundee)
via STV via STV

Project Pie will become the only place in Europe to serve handcrafted drinks by Boylan Bottling, which are made from healthier cane sugar.

  (STV Dundee)
via STV via STV
  (STV Dundee)
via STV via STV

The whole place has a quirky, unique feel to it, and Niall described the decor as a "contemporary industrial environment."

Sparing no expense, the eatery's staff have even been flown out to San Diego to be trained in the art of making excellent pizzas.

For more information on Project Pie head to the Facebook page or the Twitter feed for regular updates.

Or head down sometime in February to see what all the fuss is about for yourself.

We’ve updated our app to give you an even better experience. It’s packed full of everything happening in Dundee including all the latest news, brilliant events and great places to eat. If you enjoyed this page, why not get the app on Android or iOS?

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