Mesa Pizza coming to Uptown

EAST ISLES — After years of trying, Mesa Pizza is finally coming to Uptown.

Mesa Managing Partner David Hathaway confirmed that he recently signed a lease for the vacant commercial space at 1440 W. Lake St.

He said he plans to get Mesa’s third location, which will be located in the old Ivy retail building next to TCF Bank and Kinkos, open for business by October.

Mesa Pizza is known for pizza by the slice, eclectic topping combinations (like bacon cheeseburger and guacamole burrito) and staying open past bar close.

The original Dinkytown location opened in 2006 and proved to me an immediate hit with the campus community.

Hathaway said he planned to open Mesa’s second location in Uptown in 2009, but a tentative lease agreement for an Uptown property fell through when the landlord decided he would rather rent to a retail business. So instead of expanding into Uptown, Hathaway opened the second Mesa Pizza in Iowa City near the University of Iowa campus.

Hathaway said there are three factors that made Dinkytown and Iowa City attractive locales for his business and that hold true for Lake & Hennepin as well — lots of foot traffic, lots of bars in close proximity and high population density for delivery purposes.

The layout of Mesa’s Uptown location will be similar to the Dinkytown pizzeria, but with slightly less seating due to space constraints.

As is the case with the other two Mesa’s, Hathaway plans to keep the Uptown location open until 3 a.m. six days a week and until midnight on Sundays. He said he is still working with the East Isles neighborhood and the city to get an extended hours license, but doesn’t expect any problems to arise.

The East Isles Zoning and Land Use Committee took a look at Mesa’s plans for a 3 a.m. closing time on June 14. Meeting minutes indicate the committee didn’t have any objections to the extended hours request, citing the fact that Mesa has successfully managed noise and crowds at its other two locations.

Reach Aaron Rupar at [email protected]