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Pure Pizza Purchases Finga Lickin’ Caribbean Property on The Plaza

Finga Lickin' Caribbean Eatery, painted all green with a Jamaican flag hung on the front, sits on a property with a parking lot in the background. The property was recently bought by Pure Pizza owner Juli Ghazi.
Pure Pizza owner Juli Ghazi has bought the property that’s currently home to Finga Lickin’ Carribean Eatery. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

Staff at Finga Lickin’ Caribbean Eatery in northeast Charlotte confirmed to Queen City Nerve on Tuesday that the property their establishment is located on has been sold to Juli Ghazi, owner of Pure Pizza, an organic farm-to-fork pizza restaurant located in Plaza Midwood. 

[CORRECTION: While an earlier version of this story stated that Finga Lickin’ Caribbean Eatery planned to close its doors due to this sale, that does not yet appear to be the case. Though Ghazi refused comment for this story, she did post in an Instagram reply on Wednesday that she and the restaurant’s owner are “dreaming some things into reality.” A source at Finga Lickin’, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were told by Ghazi not to speak to reporters, confirmed to Queen City Nerve on Thursday that Ghazi is working on arrangements so that Finga Lickin’ can continue to operate from the property. The headline has also been changed to reflect this update.] 

Multiple sources familiar with the move told Queen City Nerve Ghazi plans to move her operations away from Plaza Midwood, including the Big Love Yoga Barn located behind the restaurant, and relocate everything to The Plaza. The parcel on which Finga Lickin’ is located also includes a gravel parking lot currently used by the neighboring Tip Top Daily Market for overflow parking, which could provide space for the events now held at the Central Avenue barn. 

Pure Pizza would be the newest addition to a cluster of businesses located on The Plaza at the epicenter of numerous neighborhoods within walking distance, including NoDa, Villa Heights, Plaza Shamrock, Country Club Heights and Plaza Midwood. 

“It’s an interesting neighborhood because it’s literally like the nexus of five neighborhoods right there,” noted Hope Nicholls, co-owner of Boris + Natasha, after she and her husband moved their boutique into the shopping center next door to Finga Lickin’ in 2021, joining Hattie’s Tap & Tavern, Tip Top and others. Nicholls also relocated from Plaza Midwood after 22 years in the neighborhood. 

Ghazi opened the original Pure Pizza location as a tenant in the 7th Street Market in April 2012, focusing on organic, non-GMO foods made with local ingredients — mostly pizzas, salads and sandwiches. She moved into the 2,500-square-foot building on Central Avenue in 2015, utilizing the barn behind the building to help with sustainability practices at the restaurant, including composting and rainwater harvesting. 

In 2020, Ghazi drew criticism on social media and from publications such as this one for being steadfastly opposed to health measures such as mask mandates put in place to stem the spread of COVID-19. 

Dezanii Lewis contributed reporting to this story.

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  1. It terrible pure pizza forced out finger licking, another example of white tenants forcing out minority owned businesses. Pure pizza needs to close, the owner is terrible, she’s been stealing tips from employees for years claiming that employee tips are hers and the workers that earn them aren’t entitled to them. She claims the workers “already get paid enough”, which is only 14/hr. while offering no benefits and sick days to full time employees.

  2. The owner of pure pizza is a complete fraud. the ingredients arent local or organic, they use canned everything for the pizzas and buy the salads from US foods. Its well known she steals tips from her employees and she almost seems proud of that. Claiming all tips given are hers and not the employees, even though she doesn’t actually work in the restaurant.

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