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Two-Year-Old Veloce Pizzeria Has Closed

The Pizzeria Paradiso offshoot suffered from “wrong place, wrong time” woes

The entrance to now-defunct Veloce.
Photo by Darrin H. / Yelp

The quick-service version of restaurateur Ruth Gresser’s gourmet pizza-making operation is gone from downtown, removing thick crust pies and breakfast calzones from the dining rotation for fans of now-defunct Veloce.

“We want to thank all our customers for your support over the past two and a half years. It has been our pleasure to bring you the finest quick service pizza in the area,” management wrote in a farewell note displayed at the former restaurant.

Gresser, who operates a handful of full-service Pizzeria Paradiso restaurants in the area, tried something different in developing a grab-and-go style downtown eatery (1828 L Street NW). Carryout-friendly Veloce arrived in May 2015; within two months of opening, the nascent pizza parlor had burned through 4,000 pounds of shredded cheese and 10,000 pounds of dough.

That initial burst of activity proved unsustainable in the long run, with Gresser noting that lunch traffic was fine but business dried up in the evenings and on weekends. “I love everything about it — the way it looks, what we produce. But it seems like it was the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong place, so that’s three strikes,” she told Washingtonian.

Gresser has plenty on her plate right now. This summer she opened her first restaurant in Maryland, and she is currently transforming the basement of her Georgetown outpost into a game-filled bar.