Carytown’s Zorch Pizza expanding to Forest Hill

zorch forest hill Cropped scaled

The building’s been vacant since Don’t Look Back closed its location there nearly three years ago. (Mike Platania photo)

A Carytown pizzeria is looking to grab a slice of the Southside for its second location. 

Zorch Pizza next month plans to open a new full-service restaurant at 7524 Forest Hill Ave. 

The new spot will be called Zorch Pizza Parlor, and owner and namesake Rob Zorch said it will have a larger menu than his Carytown spot, which he opened in 2020 and will continue to operate. 

Zorch Pizza Parlor is taking over a 2,000-square-foot freestanding building that’s been vacant since 2021, when taqueria Don’t Look Back closed that location after three years

Zorch’s business started as a food truck in 2018. He said he’s hoping the Southside spot will harken to the types of sit-down pizza restaurants of the ’90s. 

rob zorch Cropped

Rob Zorch

“Pizza, obviously, is a huge takeout thing, but I feel like the best way to eat it is sitting down somewhere, coming straight out of the oven,” Zorch said. “I want to bring back that retro vibe of going to a pizza parlor with friends and family. We’re going to have a couple arcade games in there.”

Zorch Pizza Parlor’s menu will include appetizers, salads, sandwiches and a few dessert options, as well as a few vegan options, like a vegan cheesesteak and Italian hoagie. Pizza by the slice will also be available. 

“We’re expanding the menu quite a bit. We’ll still be running specials and we’re adding a couple specialty pizzas that we’ve done in Carytown,” Zorch said. “We’re going to have a small slice display by the bar side, but we’re not going to focus as much on slices as we do in Carytown.”

The Forest Hill location will have about 15 tables, plus patio seating out front and what Zorch described as a picnic area in the rear of the building, where he said he’s planning to host events and live music. It’ll also have a full bar. 

While Zorch sold his food truck early last year, he’s continued to offer catering for events, something he said will continue with the Southside spot. He said the Forest Hill restaurant won’t have its own delivery drivers, but that he might try delivery through UberEats. 

“We’ll see how that goes. We’ve tried third-party delivery and it’s always kind of sucked,” he said. 

He’s leasing the space from Don’t Look Back co-owner Hamooda Shami, who also owns and operates the adjacent collectibles shop Paper Tiger

Zorch Pizza Parlor is aiming to open sometime next month. Zorch said he’s had his eye on the Southside neighborhood for a while and is excited to join it. 

“I know we have some people that live there that come to Carytown. Hopefully it’ll be a new regular spot,” he said. 

Another locally owned pizza spot is also in the works downtown, as Charred owner Walied Sanie is preparing to open Brick Fire in the former Maya space at 525 E. Grace St. 

zorch forest hill Cropped scaled

The building’s been vacant since Don’t Look Back closed its location there nearly three years ago. (Mike Platania photo)

A Carytown pizzeria is looking to grab a slice of the Southside for its second location. 

Zorch Pizza next month plans to open a new full-service restaurant at 7524 Forest Hill Ave. 

The new spot will be called Zorch Pizza Parlor, and owner and namesake Rob Zorch said it will have a larger menu than his Carytown spot, which he opened in 2020 and will continue to operate. 

Zorch Pizza Parlor is taking over a 2,000-square-foot freestanding building that’s been vacant since 2021, when taqueria Don’t Look Back closed that location after three years

Zorch’s business started as a food truck in 2018. He said he’s hoping the Southside spot will harken to the types of sit-down pizza restaurants of the ’90s. 

rob zorch Cropped

Rob Zorch

“Pizza, obviously, is a huge takeout thing, but I feel like the best way to eat it is sitting down somewhere, coming straight out of the oven,” Zorch said. “I want to bring back that retro vibe of going to a pizza parlor with friends and family. We’re going to have a couple arcade games in there.”

Zorch Pizza Parlor’s menu will include appetizers, salads, sandwiches and a few dessert options, as well as a few vegan options, like a vegan cheesesteak and Italian hoagie. Pizza by the slice will also be available. 

“We’re expanding the menu quite a bit. We’ll still be running specials and we’re adding a couple specialty pizzas that we’ve done in Carytown,” Zorch said. “We’re going to have a small slice display by the bar side, but we’re not going to focus as much on slices as we do in Carytown.”

The Forest Hill location will have about 15 tables, plus patio seating out front and what Zorch described as a picnic area in the rear of the building, where he said he’s planning to host events and live music. It’ll also have a full bar. 

While Zorch sold his food truck early last year, he’s continued to offer catering for events, something he said will continue with the Southside spot. He said the Forest Hill restaurant won’t have its own delivery drivers, but that he might try delivery through UberEats. 

“We’ll see how that goes. We’ve tried third-party delivery and it’s always kind of sucked,” he said. 

He’s leasing the space from Don’t Look Back co-owner Hamooda Shami, who also owns and operates the adjacent collectibles shop Paper Tiger

Zorch Pizza Parlor is aiming to open sometime next month. Zorch said he’s had his eye on the Southside neighborhood for a while and is excited to join it. 

“I know we have some people that live there that come to Carytown. Hopefully it’ll be a new regular spot,” he said. 

Another locally owned pizza spot is also in the works downtown, as Charred owner Walied Sanie is preparing to open Brick Fire in the former Maya space at 525 E. Grace St. 

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Charles Frankenhoff
Charles Frankenhoff
15 days ago

A pedantic take – that’s not Forest Hill, that’s Stratford Hills. While I agree the Forest Hill borg has taken over everything from the Powhite east, calling something west of the Powhite Forest Hill is a bridge too far.

Zach Thomas
Zach Thomas
15 days ago

Well if you’re going to be pedantic, let’s do it right! According to the map, Stratford Hills ends at Chippenham Parkway. This location is on Forest Hill (!) Avenue in the neighborhood of Oxford.

Gary Duke
Gary Duke
15 days ago
Reply to  Zach Thomas

The Forest Hill Park neighborhood ends at Cedar Lane, miles away from the restaurant. Although, a lot of people believe that the dividing line between Westover Hills and the Forest Hill Area is Westover Hills Blvd, because a generic map shows it that way. However, a more detailed map of the area showing neighborhood boundaries has the Westover Hills neighborhood starting just West of Cedar Lane. So in this case, I would say that if someone was going to guess where the restaurant was located, Stratford Hills would be a much better guess than Forest Hill. Having lived in the… Read more »

Lonzo Harris
Lonzo Harris
15 days ago

Good luck, that place has been a lot of different restaurants,i hope you guys do well there.

Brett Hunnicutt
Brett Hunnicutt
15 days ago

Best pizza in Richmond!!
Good luck!

Dr. Abe Gomez
Dr. Abe Gomez
15 days ago

Isn’t that the building where restaurant businesses go to die?

Alan Wilson
Alan Wilson
14 days ago
Reply to  Dr. Abe Gomez

That has historically been a very tough location for food & beverage. Would be great if they can change the trend.