Gusto Farm to Street, a locally based fast casual restaurant that serves pizzas and salads, will open a new location in Westfield Montgomery mall this fall.
Gusto will open in the mall’s dining terrace between Chipotle and Cava in the former space of Lobster ME. Josh Grim, the company’s CEO, said he’s looking to open in late September.
After Blaze Pizza shuttered last May and Naples Ristorante’s departure in January, Westfield Montgomery had a need for quick pizza that the fast-casual restaurant was ready to fill, Grim said. Sit-down restaurants California Pizza Kitchen and Ledo's Pizza also offer pizza in the mall.
“We think it’ll be a very well performing location,” he said. “We have very high expectations and we can’t wait to get open.”
Grim said the mall opening is part of a larger expansion for Gusto, which has restaurants in Bethesda and Silver Spring. He plans to open a fourth and fifth location in 2017 as well as a Northern Virginia location in 2018. In addition to growing in the Washington, D.C., area, Grim has set his sights on expanding nationally and internationally in the near future, he said.
“Now that we kind of have a concept that’s unique and differentiated, we want to expand and grow,” Grim, who lives in Chevy Chase, said.
Originally launched as Gusto Italian Grill in 2015, the restaurant served build-your-own pastas and other dishes that diners chose from a list of Italian ingredients. Now renamed as Gusto Farm to Street, the restaurant puts a new emphasis on its natural, locally sourced ingredients.
In February, Gusto dropped pastas from its menu, completing its transition from an Italian fast-casual concept to what Grim calls “healthy fast-casual.” The restaurant still serves a number of fast-fired pizzas and salads and allows diners to customize their meals. In addition to fresh juices that replaced a soda machine, Gusto’s healthy options include a cauliflower crust pizza and a black bean crust pizza, which is launching this summer.
In November, Gusto started delivering through Uber Food and Grubhub, and Grim said he plans for the restaurants to start serving beer and wine around May.
“It’s a really exciting time,” he said. “It may be different than what I originally thought but I love what we’ve become. It’s different; it’s unique.”
The Rio, Devil's Wing and Farmers Wife pizzas on traditional and cauliflower crust, and several of Gusto's salads. Credit: Josh Grim
Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect that Ledo's Pizza and California Pizza Kitchen also sell pizza in the mall.