The brand new Potomac Pizza in Chevy Chase has a gleaming new kitchen, two plasma televisions and granite table tops. The most innovative thing about the restaurant, however, is the owners’ big-hearted giving.
The first five days of its opening, from Wednesday through Sunday, Potomac Pizza is donating 100 percent of its proceeds to five charities.
When opening a restaurant, proprietors often invite friends and patrons in for free meals. “I thought, all of them can afford to buy a pizza,” said owner Adam Greenberg. “But a lot of people aren’t that lucky.”
Greenberg decided to give 100 percent of the restaurant’s proceeds to five different charities for the first five days of its opening.
Will it be financially difficult for the restaurant to turn over five days of sales?
“We’ll let you know next week,” said Greenberg with a smile. “But that’s us. We do a lot of charity events,” he said. “As a small mom-and-pop outfit, we probably do more per capita than anyone else in the city.”
“No retailer we can find has ever donated five days of sales,” said Debi Gasper, who is president of the Ad Agency, a public relations firm that represents Potomac Pizza. “No other retailers have ever done this before, even the high-end ones. They’re setting precedents.”
Cure Autism Now, one of the charities that will benefit, is a non-profit devoted to biomedical research for the increasingly common disease. It was founded by parents of children with autism in 1995.
"It's a bunch of us mothers and a few fathers here raising the money and awareness to find a cure for autism," said chapter leader Beth Eisman. "We are very supportive of each other and we believe that in the next ten years, that instead of celebrating another ten-year anniversary mark, we'll be celebrating a cure. It's that inspiration and people like Adam who give us hope for dealing with this on a daily basis.
"Adam Greenberg is the most generous person I know," she continued. "Whenever we call him for various things for Cure Autism Now, he's the first to say yes. He just gets it. As far as I know, he's not affected by [a friend or family member] who's autistic, but he just wants to give back. I think the world needs more people like him."
NIH Children's Charities is a trio of organizations dedicated to enriching life and providing stability for children who receive medical treatment at NIH. Summer camp programs are available for young patients to attend with their best friends or siblings; the "Children's Inn" provides a residential, homelike setting for patients; and a third branch provides financial assistance to families struggling with expensive medical bills. All proceeds earned at the Chevy Chase restaurant on Wednesday will be divided three ways amongst the Children's Charities.
"It's a very generous and kind offer on Adam's behalf to help all the charities make money," said Randy Schools, president of the NIH Recreation & Welfare Foundation. "It's a wonderful way to share their efforts, and it helps people recognize the good food that is available to them at Potomac Pizza."
The new Potomac Pizza is located one block from the District line, at 19 Wisconsin Circle in Chevy Chase.