The owner of Uptown Grill and Stock Pot Diner is opening a new pizzeria in the growing Uptown Bay City development and he wants your help naming it.
Vince Stuart posted about his latest business venture, which he describes as an upscale pizzeria with wood-burning pizza oven and cocktail lounge, on the Uptown Grill Facebook page Monday, April 15.
Stuart’s Facebook post inviting the community to help name his pizzeria garnered more than 150 comments by Thursday morning, April 18; the most-liked suggestions included A Slice of Uptown and The Crazy Tomato, many others incorporated variations of Stuart’s first name.
Stuart plans to select several names from among the suggestions and then invite the public vote to determine a winner. Participants who suggest the top names and the winning name will receive an invitation to a pre-opening celebration and other VIP club perks, he said.
The second phase of Uptown Bay City could start as early as the summer after its site plan was approved by the Bay City Planning Commission.
The Uptown Bay City development, located along the Saginaw River on Bay City’s East Side, is home to Stuart’s Uptown Grill, Live Oak Coffeehouse, Michigan Sugar Co., Omoni Boutique, Infinity Bridal, Sushi Remix, Central Michigan University Research Corp., The Bay City Times-MLive and more. The pizzeria is to be located in the Uptown Place building, which also houses Costela Brazilian Steak House.
News of Stuart’s new restaurant came soon after officials approved a second phase of development at Uptown Bay City, which includes plans for more than 500 new residential housing units.
The Bay City Planning Commission on March 20 approved Shaheen Development’s site plan, which includes 19 acres of new residential, commercial and mixed-use buildings. During the meeting, Peter Shaheen, vice president of Shaheen Development, said housing options will range from small studio apartments to higher-end waterfront apartments. Preliminary construction work could begin as early as this summer.
Stuart said he always hoped to add a pizzeria to his restaurant lineup because “everybody loves pizza” and Uptown Bay City is desirable because of the continued growth and development happening there. The new eatery, which he aims to open this fall, will offer gourmet pizza made with fresh herbs, fresh mozzarella and other ingredients. Diners can also expect to find made-to-order pasta dishes, “nothing out of a box,” and specialty wines on the menu.
This new Italian menu is a departure for Stuart. He opened Uptown Grill in 2014 offering breakfast dishes, such as a lobster and brie omelet and baklava French toast, and lunch items, such as a salmon BLT, a “waffle Cristo” sandwich and Cobb salad. It’s located at 3 E. Main St.
His Stock Pot Diner, a longtime downtown Bay City staple located at 1007 Washington Ave., serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, including country fried steak, diner hash, omelets, Coney dogs and burgers.
Stuart is seeking staff for his new pizzeria, including a chef who either has experience cooking Italian cuisine or “somebody that really loves what they’re doing and wants to learn how to cook pasta and pizza."