If you thought last week’s opening of a third Artichoke outpost was the end of its expansion, think again. We caught up with Team Artichoke — Sal Basille and Francis Garcia, and their partners, Avenue and Marquee’s Jason Strauss and Noah Tepperberg — who told us the Chelsea and MacDougal locations are just the beginning.
The team says it’s currently scouting locations uptown, as well as in Williamsburg and Astoria, for two or three more New York Artichokes. But the big news is that there are plans to open a dozen shops nationally in the next two or three years. The cities being targeted: Philadelphia, Boston, and Las Vegas.
“Pizza Hut had better worry,” Garcia told Grub Street. “Papa John better watch out, too.”
Also in the works: Artichoke-infused beer that Garcia has been making in house and shopping to bottlers. (There haven’t been any takers yet.)
Finally, you might be interested to know that late-night pizza action accounts for 15 percent of Artichoke’s business, which is why their kitchens stay open until 5 a.m. And Tepperberg says he still has to wait twenty minutes for a slice when he heads to the Artichoke on 14th Street. But Garcia counters that he and Basille still can’t get into Avenue, either. Sounds like a great working relationship!