What, exactly, is Pizza Brain?
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
Last time we checked in with Kenzo artist Brian "Brain" Dwyer (above), he was organizing a hugely popular pizza-themed art show at Rocket Cat Café. Now, the serious 'za enthusiast and ginger bon vivant is taking the next big step: opening his own pizza place.
Dwyer and three partners recently signed an agreement of sale for an address in Fishtown (they don't want to say exactly where just yet in the press, but know that it's along the main Frankford Avenue drag), and the space will host Pizza Brain, a combination pizza shop, pizza memorabilia museum, arcade and performance space that Dwyer says will both celebrate and preserve the "culture around pizza." Dwyer is a serious pizza memorabilia enthusiast (that's him above brandishing just two of hundreds of his pizza-themed LPs; he's investigating whether he can create a category for pizza collectibles in the Guinness Book of World Records), and the plan is for Pizza Brain to display a prominent portion of his 'za cache. But he admits that he knows little about the actual challenges of opening and operating a pizza restaurant, which is why he's partnered with Joe Hunter, a Charleston transplant and biz vet who's ran shops down south.
While Hunter will focus on developing the menu (they want to do both grab-a-slice pies and fancier artisan stuff of varying circumferences in an open kitchen setting), Dwyer will concern himself with the entertainment aspect of Pizza Brain, which'll accommodate between 30 and 50. He is currently shopping around for pizza-themed arcades games (he's already secured a Plinko-esque Ninja Turtles Pizza Drop machine), and says the backyard area of his Fishtown hub will be home to a live performance space dubbed — wait for it — "Masterpizza Theatre." He wants to stay open late-ish to accommodate the hordes of Fishtown kids who gravitate further south toward Girard for their nightly entertainment. This is all very preliminary, but if everything goes as planned, Dwyer hopes to have Pizza Brain open by the fall of 2011.