Style Weekly / Tazza Kitchen Bets Big in Scott’s Addition

It’s a big smoker. Made from an old, 1,000-gallon underground propane tank, when you climb the steps and open one of the large doors, you’ll see six beef briskets slowly cooking away. The next door reveals another six and several racks of ribs. You’ll see something similar if you take a look behind the other two doors.

And at Tazza Kitchen’s new office and central kitchen in Scott’s Addition, that monster isn’t the only smoker parked by the side of the building. There’s another smaller one — smaller being a relative term — that is hauled to events when it’s not in use. Previously, both smokers lived outside of Tazza’s Alverser Plaza location. Smoked meat might be a siren call to some of us, but the restaurant’s neighbors — doctors’ and dentists’ offices — weren’t always thrilled by the scent.

“We kind of wore out our welcome there,” says co-owner John Haggai, who handles construction — and the bar program — for the company. “I was tasked by Jeff to quickly [find a new space].” Jeff is Jeff Grant, also a Tazza co-owner and the man in charge of everything you eat at the restaurants — he’s the one smoking briskets for upwards of 17 hours. “We’re just total geeks about wood-fired cooking,” he says.

The reaction from Tazza’s new Scott’s Addition neighbors? “All we’ve gotten is, ‘Dude, it smells so good. Can I eat a taco?'” Grant says.

Right now, the newest Tazza location is under construction across the street from the Handcraft Building. A few blocks away, in a deceptively low-profile, cinder-block building that used to house a diesel repair shop, the new research and development and commissary space soars behind the offices in front. There’s a wood-burning oven in the back, lots of long shiny stainless steel counters, a fully stocked bar station and a table where the team is experimenting with place settings for the new restaurant.


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