A Radius of Love

Apr. 13, 2013 @ 05:45 PM

It was all Luther’s fault. The 120-pound Rottweiler was the reason Kate and Mick Carroll were introduced.
It was San Francisco and Luther was the pet of a mutual friend and Kate and Mick started talking. “I really just walked up and said hello,” says Kate.
Now, because of a dog and a hello and the road they followed all the way to Churton Street in Hillsborough, where the two opened Radius Pizzeria & Pub recently, they both know this is where they are supposed to be.
Certainly, Luther would be proud. Kate grew up in Durham, attended Durham Academy and then Carolina Friends School, and eventually studied at East Carolina University, graduating in 1992. She traveled to San Francisco where she owned Earth & Sky Oasis, a health and wellness center, before selling the business and becoming a full-time mom to twin boys, now 3.
When he was in Ireland, Mick was a dairy farmer, sheep farmer, then vegetable farmer. He has worked in castles, the Ritz Carlton, for George Lucas, and he was once head chef at the San Francisco Zoo, where he catered events and weddings.
“He is a really hard worker,” Kate says of Mick.
“I just love working with people and staying busy,” Mick says of his culinary pedigree.
Word about the new restaurant quickly spread through town, exciting residents. “This town is so receptive and supportive. We had city staff reminding us and helping us. We’ve had our landlord assisting with making phone calls. And, the manager of Wooden Nickel Pub has sent staff over here to help and has offered his services as we get our business off the ground,” says Kate.
Since the restaurant opened, the aroma of hickory and oak have permeated downtown, tempting visitors and residents alike. “We cook our pizzas in a copper oven we designed and named Penny,” says Mick.
Using his diverse experiences as a chef, Mick leads the kitchen staff and blends his niche for creative taste that is found throughout the menu. “Our dough is dough that is from a natural fermentation process. I have a master sponge made from pineapple juice, water and flour and the enzymatic growth begins the transforming process of making pizza dough,” says Mick.
Upon opening, Radius Pizza has worked to work out the kinks of opening a new restaurant and has only focused on a tamed-down menu, before unveiling featured entrees that will soon be served. “I am big on comfort food and we will have comfort food on our menu,” says Mick.
His idea of comfort food will range from short ribs to pork chops to lighter fare that will be available seasonally.
The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining and the décor and artwork offer eye candy for patrons while chewing wood-fired pizza.
Kate and Mick are hoping to continue their own personal beliefs of balancing work and play, and serving food to anyone. “This is a place you can come straight from the field or from the boardroom,” says Kate. Or, you could come from school. “We offer a kids night every Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m. and this is a time that a kid can come and make their own pizza. They use their hands, see the dough form, and watch us place the pizzas in the ovens,” says Kate. “We wanted to do something with this restaurant that blends our interests in having a place that we can visit with our own kids and share this with them, too.”
Still, there is something beyond the copper-plated oven, kids theme and delicious entrees. “This restaurant brings out our strengths,” says Kate. Both Kate and Mick share a love of the outdoors, family and staying busy.
They also live, cook, play, manage a restaurant, and parent. Of how they survive and exist, sharing every aspect of their lives, Kate said that building this business has, unexpectedly, strengthened their relationship with each other. “I did not expect this to pull our strengths out. However, as our goal matured and seeing where we both offset each other, it is really special that we can work and live and be together,” says Kate.
Both Kate and Mick attribute much of their success to the encouragement from friends and the support of grandparents that are in the immediate area. They are both inspired by the name Radius and they feel that it will allow the restaurant to become a place that is neither limited nor boxed. “We cannot stress enough how supportive and unique this town is. We also want all to know that all are welcome here,“ says Kate.
Do you have a feature story idea? Contact Jason Hawkins at hawkinsoutdoors@msn.com.

Find Radius Pizzeria & Pub on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RadiusPizzeriaPub. The restaurant is located at 112 N. Churton St. in Hillsborough, 919-245-0601.