Black Circle Brewing Co. owner Jesse Rice poses a rhetorical question when discussing the new food vendor that will open next to his 46th Street bar and music venue in 2022: “What’s better than pizza and beer?”
Futuro, which launched as a popular pizzeria earlier this year in the Holy Cross neighborhood, plans to serve New York-style slices when it opens Grumps Slice Stop in January as part of the Refinery 46 complex at 2201 E. 46th St.
Grumps will replace Elena Ruz Cuban Cuisine, the sandwich shop that opened with Black Circle in December 2016 but announced its closing on Saturday.
Rice said it’s important for his brewery to have a food partner that attracts patrons who arrive early and stay late.
“When we were planning the place, we would go to a different brewery every Tuesday for our owner meetings,” Rice said. “If they didn’t have food, we left after one beer.”
Owned by husband-and-wife team Luke Tobias and Sarah St. Aubin, Futuro serves pizza in a variety of styles—deep-dish Chicago, crispy-crust Detroit and square-cut tavern—at its 19 Cruse St. location.
With Grumps, Tobias will offer foldable slices that start at $6 as well as 22-inch pizzas.
“The neighborhood needs some quick eats, especially at Black Circle, where they do a lot of shows,” said St. Aubin, mentioning Black Circle’s tradition of live music.
St. Aubin said the Grumps name is a good-natured reference to her husband’s facial demeanor.
“Luke just sort of looks grumpy,” she said. “He has an upside down smile when he smiles.”
The “Stop” part of the business name anticipates the opening of the Nickel Plate Trail, which will be a neighbor to the Refinery 46 co-working space.
Homesense Heating and Cooling owns the Refinery 46 building that once served as headquarters for Sutho Suds detergent company and as a warehouse for Double 8 grocery stores.