“Diners approaching the hostess stand of Mozzeria, a gourmet-pizza restaurant in San Francisco, are greeted with a set of keyboards with small screens. They use them in their initial communication with the staff, about half of whom are deaf.
For many customers, the keyboards are the first indication that Mozzeria is an unusual restaurant. Mozzeria’s owners, married couple Melody and Russell Stein, are likely the first deaf people to open a restaurant in the Bay Area, and one of very few in the country to do so,” reported the Wall Street Journal.
“Mozzeria co-owner Melody Stein, center, converses with customers in sign language at her gourmet-pizza restaurant in the Mission District. Behind her is a hand-built oven from Naples, Italy. They don’t want Mozzeria, which serves crispy Neapolitan-style pizza from a wood-fired oven for prices starting at $12, to be known as a deaf restaurant. “We want people to come here for the pizza,” 38-year-old Ms. Stein says in American sign language.”
“Ms. Stein, born in Hong Kong and raised in the Bay Area, is a third-generation restaurateur who always dreamed of opening a restaurant of her own. After earning a degree in hospitality management from San Francisco State University, she put off her goal and spent the first part of her career in South Dakota, working with a deaf-communications-services company. ”There is no perfect time to do anything. Finally, I made a decision that life is short and I just had to go ahead and do it,’ Ms. Stein says.”