Mall at Fairfield Commons restaurant signs five-year lease extension.

Spinoza’s Pizza inks new deal with mall landlord — but there will be some changes made

Glen Brailey,  owner of Spinoza’s Pizza & Salads — the independent restaurant that has operated for 10 years surrounded by chain restaurants at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek — hears it from his customers all the time: “I can’t believe a place like this is in a mall.”

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But the way he sees it, “We’re not in the mall — the mall is attached to us,” Brailey said, smiling. “We attract a lot of people to this mall, and to the community.”

For a decade, the formula has worked, and now, Brailey has signed a new lease to stay put in the Fairfield Commons mall for another five years.

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But changes are coming that Brailey believes will help him improve the restaurant’s visibility and compete against his neighbors.

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The restaurant will shut down temporarily in mid-June for 10 days for a significant makeover of the restaurant that will include expanding its patio, reconfiguring the seating in the dining room, and perhaps changing lunch service to better accommodate workers who need to get in and out fast, Brailey said.

In this file photo from 2011, Glen Brailey, founder and owner of Spinoza's Pizza & Salads prepares pizza dough at the restaurant inside the Mall at Fairfield Commons.
Photo: Teesha McClam/Dayton Daily News

Plans call for widening the patio by six feet and adding a natural-gas fire pit, as well as installing a large overhead garage door at the current patio entrance, Brailey said. 

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“We’ll update the interior with new colors and tile, and we’ll tear out the central section of booths in the dining room and replace them with high-top tables, which will improve sight lines to the stage,” Brailey said. 

The restaurant was designed more than a decade ago as a California Pizza Kitchen, and at that time, the focus appeared to be packing as many diners into the smallest possible space, Brailey said. The new seating design will probably reduce interior seating capacity from 120 to about 110, but patio seating will likely expand from its current 25 to about 40, the Spinoza’s owner said.

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Brailey said he is “seriously considering” adopting a counter-service concept that would be in effect at lunchtime only and would offer a scaled-back menu. Diners could order from a kiosk or place call-in orders, or they could place their order at a counter.

“It would be more efficient and quicker, and there would be no tipping, so it would be less expensive,” Brailey said. “That would accommodate (Wright-Patterson Air  Force) base employees who have a limited time for lunch. Then at 4 p.m., we would switch back to full service, so it will become a hybrid business model of sorts.”

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A week prior to the renovation project, Brailey is planning a 10-year anniversary celebration June 7-9 that will include special craft beers, special prices, and live music each night. 

The celebration will culminate in a Sunday night performance by Matthew Szlachetka, who performs roots rock and folk as "Szlachetka," praised two years ago by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know.”

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