Fayette County News

Fayette County


Oz Pizza may join Old Courthouse Square



Only a few short months after Downtown Scoops landed on the south side of Fayetteville’s historic Old Courthouse Square, the popular ice cream parlor looks to be getting a new neighbor in the form of Oz Pizza, whose other locations include Douglasville, East Point, and Fairburn.
City of Fayetteville officials confirmed last week that Oz Pizza has submitted development plans for the city to review, and that the company intends to occupy the Exchange retail shop space, which is adjacent to Downtown Scoops and directly across Stonewall Avenue from the Old Courthouse. Exchange will stay on the square at a different storefront.
Downtown Scoops owner Dave Murray says he had heard Oz Pizza was likely going to be his new neighbor, but he had to keep tight-lipped about it until it became common knowledge. Contacted Thursday, Murray said he is over-the-moon excited to have Oz Pizza heading to the Old Courthouse Square.
“I’m excited to see entrepreneurs coming to town,” Murray said, noting that all but one business located on the Old Courthouse Square are family-owned businesses. Only Twisted Taco is a chain.
While Oz Pizza already has three locations, it is still owned solely by Chris Wiley, and the company has a reputation for becoming deeply involved in the communities where their restaurants have been opened. According to the Oz Pizza website, Monday and Tuesday nights are often dedicated to raising funds for local charities.
Murray says the success of businesses like his on the Square has a lot to do with the city becoming more pedestrian friendly. “We are becoming more of a walking community,” he said.
Indeed, earlier this year, Fayetteville Main Street published a map designed by local artist Ed Gullett that shows there are more than 300 free-to-the-public parking spaces located within easy walking distance to the shops around the Old Courthouse. Fayetteville Director of Community Development Brian Wismer said he measured the distances, and the downtown parking situation is as convenient or more so than that of Fayette Pavilion, which is one of the busiest shopping centers in the South Metro Atlanta area.
“I still haven’t heard a complaint about people trying to get to us,” Murray said of the parking situation. “We’re in a good location.
“Hopefully the community will enjoy what we have to offer,” he said.
According to Fayetteville City Planner Julie Brown, Oz Pizza’s renovation plans, or “revised elevations” as they’re called by city officials, will be discussed by Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Commission members during their Aug. 25 meeting. A vote on those plans is expected to come during the Sept. 22 commission meeting.
Brown said generally the commission’s vote on such matters will stand unless the mayor or city council brings it up for review within a 10-day window after the vote.
Wismer added, “We are excited to welcome Oz Pizza to our downtown. They have an affinity for historic properties and will be good stewards of this building.”

By Danny Harrison

Danny Harrison, a 1992 Fayette High School graduate, began his journalism career with Fayette County News in 1995. After taking several leaves of absence to pursue journalism and Christian ministry opportunities, including a few out of state and overseas, he returned full-time to Fayette County News in August 2014. Harrison earned a bachelor's degree in pastoral ministry in 2009 while serving as a missionary journalist in England and Western Europe.