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UPDATE | Domino’s official explains plans for Bainbridge Island

An artist
An artist's rendering shows the interior of a Domino's pizza store that has been proposed for the Island Shopping Center on Bainbridge Island.
— image credit: Image courtesy of the city of Bainbridge Island

Hold the anchovies.

Actually, hold the phone.

Domino’s Pizza has been talking with city officials about opening a restaurant on Bainbridge Island, but city officials have rejected the company’s initial suggestions on where the pizza place could be located.

The national pizza chain has come to the city with plans of establishing a locally owned and operated franchise in the Village Shopping Center on High School Road. The pizza chain has been eyeing two potential locations in the shopping center — which is currently home to a Subway sandwich shop, a Safeway grocery and other businesses — over the past few months.

Kathy Cook, the city’s planning director, has been talking with the company about its plans for a franchise on the island. She met with representatives from Domino’s Pizza on April 17.

Since then, after a string of emails discussing the details of the proposed pizza shop, Cook notified Domino’s on June 29 that there may be a glitch in their plan.

Bainbridge officials said Domino’s Pizza’s business model requires a standardized menu and the use of take-out containers. That means the proposal would qualify the pizza shop as a formula take-out food restaurant — something restricted by city regulations — and zoning will not permit the business in the Village Shopping Center.

Cook has told Domino’s that the company could set up a franchise on High School Road east of Highway 305, however.

But the setback hasn’t deterred the intentions of Domino’s Pizza. The Village Shopping Center location is where they are determined to go.

“If it’s plates and flatware instead of disposable items, then that’s what we will do,” said Brian Haley, an official in franchise store development for Domino’s.

“What I want to do is open up some dialogue (with the city) to find out how we can tailor it more into the community and get in there,” he added.

Of the two locations that Domino’s desires in the Village Center, one location would be larger and allow for a “function room” where local groups such as school sports teams could gather.

The second, smaller location at the center would not accommodate the spare room to host functions.

What Domino’s has in mind is something much different from the traditional take-out shop, according to Haley.

“We are trying to break from our tradition and include some local flair,” Haley said. “As far as our function room goes, we could include some jerseys from the high school and historical photos.”

“Our old stores had a small lobby, not very customer friendly,” he added. “This would be opened up, you can see the kitchen, kind of like a Subway-style operation, and you could see our pizza.”

The island Domino’s would make an effort to include dining at its location, in addition to its usual delivery service. As such, the interior would be styled to reflect the feel of a traditional, sit-down restaurant.

“It’s more focus on coming in,” Haley said. “It would be a unique and brand-new type of Dominos which you would not have seen before.”

While the menu would offer what is common to Domino’s, the Bainbridge menu would include a few additions, such as salads and dessert items. There would also be prepared hot-served food for purchase.

Domino’s has also suggested the possibility of offering a unique “Islander Pizza” or “Mariners Sandwich.”

Haley said the location is ideal for a “Coca-Cola freestyle machine.” The machine takes the soda fountain to the next level by allowing customers to blend and tailor a soda to their individual taste using a variety of Coca-Cola products.

“It has 150 ways to make a fountain drink,” Haley said.

The company has said it would like to post a signature sign on the store’s front, resembling a sign that is hand-carved from wood. The sign would not be internally lit.

With space to seat approximately 24 customers, and further possible outside seating, the Domino’s will be decorated with “local flair” and artwork.

Haley emphasizes that the island pizza shop would be locally owned, and most likely by the same operator of the Domino’s Pizza outlets in Gig Harbor and Poulsbo.

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