Washington, D.C. (ABC7) — A deaf-owned and operated restaurant, Mozzeria, staffed with all deaf employees, is set to open Friday, Sept. 4 in Washington, D.C.
“[Cofounders] Russ and Melody established Mozzeria with the goal of reducing the significant employment disparities faced by Deaf people,” stated Ryan Maliszewski, Chief Executive Officer. “Beyond serving delicious wood-fired pizza to our customers, we’re creating career opportunities for our community at Mozzeria, and showing the world creative ways to be inclusive. Mozzeria prepares our employees with the skills to advance in their careers and inspire prospective employers to hire them.”
Mozzeria, was originally set to open in the Spring of 2020.
The pizza restaurant is located on 1300 H St. NE, down the street from Gallaudet University.
The pizzeria is already successful and famous in San Francisco, this will be their second location.
All of the employees are deaf and communicate using American Sign Language (ASL).
As Ryan Maliszewski adds, “Don’t know sign language? No problem! Mozzeria offers all our customers an inclusive and highly visual dining experience that no other restaurant can match. Our employees are committed to ensuring that our guests feel like part of our community. Come in with an open mind, an empty stomach, and leave with a fresh perspective and even fresher pizza!”
According to CSD Social Venture Fund, 70% of deaf people are unemployed or underemployed.
The first 50 patrons to place an order through Mozzeria’s website or at the restaurant on September 4th will receive a complimentary official Mozzeria T-shirt. For the safety of all during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mozzeria is currently providing carry-out service only.