Improvements have been made to the former Dinis Brother Pizza Restaurant, but the future of the building at 901 Wilborn Ave. is unclear.
The former pizza restaurant was ravaged by fire not once but twice, in November 2020 and in November 2021. Marshall Slayton, owner of Slayton Construction Company, said the building’s owners Gregoris and Constance Dinis, who reside in Italy, had called him and asked him to determine whether the building was worth saving or whether it should be demolished. Slayton determined the structure was worth saving.
“Even though it had a lot of fire damage, the building has good bones,” Slayton said.
The November 2020 blaze and the November 2021 blaze each caused an estimated $100,000 in damages to the structure, valued at approximately $300,000.
Slayton and his workers have cleaned up debris from the interior of the building which sustained heavy fire damage. They have also renovated the one-time iconic South Boston pizzeria, installing new windows on the front as well as both sides of the building along with new, yellow siding.
“The Dinises are trying to see who is interested in buying it. I am wiring it to be sold,” Slayton explained. “It could turn into a variety of things.”
Slayton said the building’s owners have indicated they would like to see the building function as a restaurant as it has in the past or as an office building. Currently, Slayton said the Wilborn Avenue building is “just a shell,” with no electrical or plumbing.
Slayton has a sleeker, more contemporary vision for the building, picturing it with a black roof, gray siding accented with multiple windows, and “maybe an accent color” to offset the gray and black, a far cry from the old look of the building with its well-weathered red roof, brick siding with a green-and-white canopy and storefront panel of windows.
“I’m trying to make it look different, more appealing,” Slayton explained.
But Slayton intends to halt work on the building for the moment, as instructed by the owners.
The Dinis Brother Pizza & Restaurant building has been vacant since the November 2020 fire tore through the building. Following the aftermath of the blaze, Mikail Kallfani, owner of the business side of Dinis Brothers Pizza & Restaurant, opened up a new version of Dinis Brothers, with a new name, Mike’s Pizza & Restaurant, just up the road at 1211 Wilborn Ave. Mike’s Pizza & Restaurant opened its doors for business in November 2021.
Miranda Baines is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at email@example.com.