Can a new chain pizza joint make a go of it in Jersey? (Opinion)
"Never heard of 'em."
"How do you know if you haven't tried?"
"Chain pizza ain't good."
"This could be different?"
This was my inner dialogue upon hearing the news that a new chain pizza joint called &pizza just opened in New Jersey.
Yes, that's the name. An ampersand followed by pizza in lower case. How...I don't know...how something.
Okay I clearly have an attitude. And just figured out what that SOMETHING is. They're trying to be so...hipster. Further evidence? It's not round. It's oval.
They're selling oval pizza.
Why not just call yourself Pretentious Hipster Pizza. Oh I'm sorry, let me reword that in all lower case. pretentious hipster pizza.
&pizza opened a few days ago in Jersey City at 30 Montgomery Street. Further, plans are already in the works to expand locations here in the Garden State to Edison and Union near Kean University. Should I be writing about them if I haven't even tried their pizza yet? No, I shouldn't. I shouldn't be yelling at kids to get off my lawn either yet here we are.
It's just that it's chain pizza. Chain pizza has its place. That place is called anywhere other than New Jersey and New York. Fill up all the malls in America with all the Sbarros you want. Sing the virtues of Little Caesars and Pizza Hut and Domino's. In a pinch they'll do, but New Jersey knows honest to God pizza, REAL pizza, is from mom and pop places. Places with first or last names, not ampersands. Places like Ted's, or Vito's, or Tony's. Angelo's, De Lorenzo's or Santillo's. With a capital letter thrown in. You get the idea.
And why the ampersand? Is pizza just an afterthought here? Also, why are you selling milk and cookies at a pizza joint? Is this Jersey or Sesame Street? Snuffleupagus yours, pal!
You really needed to reinvent the wheel here? Now, does one pick up your entire hipster oval and bite it, or is there some new age geometric cut we need to have a tutorial on? What's wrong, the triangle was soooo five minutes ago?
Again, I'm being bitter. I get it. I'm closed-minded. I'm a pizza dinosaur.
And don't even get this dinosaur started on frozen pizzas. The hierarchy goes like this:
Any frozen pizza
Discarded dumpster food
But I digress. Maybe it's the greatest pizza ever to hit our borders. If you go, let me know how it is. If you want to check out the latest chain pizza to land in New Jersey you'll find &pizza's website here.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.