2013 | Dine

Bethesda’s Jiffy Shoppes closed; PizzaPass taking its place

New concept features roaming pies

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Jiffy Shoppes, the pizza and sub shop on St. Elmo Avenue, closed late last week, making way for PizzaPass, a pizza, pasta and salad place with a Brazilian steakhouse concept.

Say what?

PizzaPass owner John Foster, who has been a manager at a number of metropolitan area restaurants, got the idea from his stint at Chima Brazilian Steakhouse in Tysons Corner.

“That’s where I came up with my concept,” says Foster. In Brazilian steakhouses, “you walk in and pay one price. They walk around with the meat. I thought, ‘why can’t we do that with Italian food?’ ”

Foster said “pizza passers” will meander around the dining room with slices of four different types of pizza on their trays, allowing diners to choose from among the selections.  

Often, when groups go out for pizza, everybody wants a different topping, Foster said. “When four people sit down, they all compromise,” he added. “This way, everybody can try a bunch of different things.”

The concept also gets around the problem of whole pies eventually turning cold as people make their way through the slices. Servers at PizzaPass will constantly be walking through the dining room, offering fresh, hot slices.  

PizzaPass will also feature a walk-up pasta station that Foster likened to an omelet station at brunch. Diners will be able to pick from among five different types of pasta and seven different sauces, plus meats and vegetables, and the cook behind the counter will whip it up.

There will also be a self-serve salad bar.

Foster said he’s not doing much in the way of renovation—just some fresh paint and a sprinkling of the PizzaPass logo, and hopes to be open by mid-December.

The one-price “cost of admission” (excluding beer, wine and other beverages) is $18 for dinner, $14 for lunch. Kids five and under eat for free, and it’ll be half price for children from 6 to 10 years old.

4924 St. Elmo Ave. Bethesda. 301-215-7277. https://www.facebook.com/pages/PizzaPass/174379449423401