The former owner of The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro is expanding ZaZaZa to a second store near Bank Street and Holmwood Avenue, just steps from a Pizza Pizza at the corner and close to Lansdowne Park.
In a marketing campaign, Mr. Aimers has hung a sign at the future spot at 915 Bank St. promising to rid the area of "bland pizza".
Meanwhile, SpaceWerx Construction Inc. is quickly working to change the former 1,600-square-foot shawarma joint into a facility that will seat around 55 to 60 people, with features such as bar seating and an area where customers can watch the pizza being made in front of them.
"It'll be bigger artwork, special furniture, some casual chairs with coffee tables. It'll be more about dining almost in your living room instead of a restaurant," Mr. Aimers says.
Jeff Moffatt, the managing partner at SpaceWerx Construction, said Mr. Aimers approached him due to a long-standing professional relationship that dates to when they were both working in Montreal.
The company, which did fit-ups for companies such as Optelian and Fuel Industries, will be "going hard in the next four weeks" to finish construction of the new restaurant, Mr. Moffatt says. The contract is worth a few hundred thousand dollars, but the exact value was not disclosed.
"It's got a very cool theatrical concept ... built around the pizza being the performance. A stage kind of setting," Mr. Moffatt says.
"It really builds on the little tiny testing ground that he built on Beechwood (Avenue) for the first (store)."
Mr. Aimers still has his fingers in other food ventures in Ottawa since selling The Works to Oakville-based Fresh Brands Inc. for an undisclosed sum in September 2010.
Fraser Cafe, in which he is a partner, aims to serves local food that changes according to the seasons. Business is growing rapidly there, he says.
Also, Mr. Aimers is in discussions with a business partner to open an Asian food restaurant. While staying mum on the details for now, he said he hopes to change the usual experience of having boxes and boxes of food and needing to take home or get rid of items you don't eat.
"I'm working on an Asian concept to take Asian and turn it a little upside down," he says. "We've got a few ideas."