Bill Chait is undeniably a powerhouse when it comes to developing restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area. Republique, Bestia, Picca, and Sotto make for a robust resume, of course. But Paul Hibler is no slouch either when it comes to the restaurateur game, launching neighborhood-friendly concepts such as Pitfire Artisan Pizza, East Borough, Superba Snack Bar, and Superba Food + Bread. As part of his latest move, Hibler is making his way to the “underserved” Pasadena community to open a Pitfire and brand-new Superba Snacks + Coffee.
“It’s got great bones,” says Hibler of the former Sizzler space that the new Pitfire Pizza will occupy on Arroyo Seco, a stone’s throw away from the original Trader Joe’s. Next door to the pizza parlor Hibler has plans to build a 1200 sq. foot structure with a large patio for the Superba concept.
“At its finest moment, Pitfire is a communal gathering space. With all of my projects there’s always a strong sense of community,” says Hibler. “I live in Venice, four blocks away from Snack Bar and two blocks from Food + Bread. Superba has done a wonderful job of capturing the experience of Venice. Pasadena, on the other hand, has a lot to offer too. There’s young families, creative people, wonderful architecture. It’s a nest of people we’ve been searching for.”
Hibler likes to think of the pairing as synergistic. Superba Coffee will feed the morning crowd fresh pastries, savory sandwiches, and toast. Superba Food + Bread has a full-sized commercial bakery, and the plan all along, says Hibler, was to open satellite operations. “If you want to make bread, you have to have a lot of outlets,” he says. Coffee will be supplied by Heart Roasters based in Portland. “I’m a huge coffee fan, and I feel like we’ve had this run of very specific coffee places that are all about the barista and a singular coffee experience,” remarks Hibler. “We’ve raised the bar here in Los Angeles, but I feel like it’s time we have something great paired with that coffee: food and pastries; a great social community with a coffee joint feel. There’s room for both.” At night, after the morning and lunch crowd clears, there will be ample parking for Pitfire’s pizza pies and cocktails (the bar program will be similar to the Fairfax location). Both are set to open by the end of the year.