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PeteZaaz Brings Wacky Combos to Classon Avenue

'Willy Wonka' of pizza shops plans opening Sunday.

For those of you watching the construction going on next to Glass Shop with pizza-filled anticipation, you’ll be glad to hear that “PeteZaaz” is opening Sunday.

The slice joint, co-owned by former No. 7 sous chef Pete Entner, will specialize in such off-the-wall combinations as a General Tso’s topped pie, and the “cold fried chicken” pizza, with a yellow squash sauce, stewed collards with pickled Thai chili, fontina and ripped up cold fried chicken.

Entner, 25, was inspired by the menu at No. 7’s sister shop, No. 7 Sub, which offers, for example, a braised lamb, peanut butter, mint jelly and papadam combo.

“The New York Times called them the 'Willy Wonka' of sub shops. That’s what I plan to do with pizza. Think baked potato pizza, cold fried chicken pizza. I’m going to do a kimchi bruschetta fresh mozzarella sandwich. We’re going to incorporate a lot of culture—different ethnic foods—it’s going to be fun.”

Pies will cost between $13 and $15 and slices will average $3. There will also be a less expensive student special. The shop will be eat-in or take-out to start, but Entner plans to begin delivery soon, with a rough range of Altantic Avenue to Empire Boulevard and Vanderbilt to Nostrand.

Entner, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, co-owns the shop with Glenn Hudson, 32, who used to work at Pulino’s, dubbed Best Pizza 2011 by the Village Voice. Manager Mac Pohanka, comes to the venture from nearby .

To start, the group will primarily focus on pizza, though Entner has a few other dishes planned, such as broccoli garlic knots topped with Bolognaise and ricotta salata. Entner also plans to make many of his own cheeses in the shop.

But despite the gourmet menu, the trio envisions the shop as a cozy neighborhood hangout—a slice shop by day and a “pizza hangout” by night. They have applied for a beer and wine license, which they hope to get in a month or two. The space only has 19 seats, but there’s also a huge backyard they share with .

At 575 square feet, the shop is certainly cozy. But the group has spiffed up the former site of No. 7 Sub’s bakery. They’ve done most of the renovations themselves, driving as far as Philadelphia to pick up reclaimed wood floors and other salvaged materials.

The result is warm and stylish with lots of dark wood and a dose of nostalgia through old Brooklyn photographs (including some of his grandfather) and a decorative antique pinball machine. The coolest feature is the gently curved hand-made ledge around the shop, which partially folds down to make more space.

The trio also went out of their way to use environmentally friendly packaging including knives made from sustainably grown birch, biodegradable cups made from cellulose, pizza boxes that break into plates and paper Chinese food containers for the appetizers.

All of this is the result of months of work—as well as some wacky fun, such as the pizza monster tattoo Entner got on his bicep just last week (see photo gallery). And Pohanka and Entner said they are thrilled to finally be entering a new phase in the venture.

“We’ve just been waiting to do this for so long,” said Pohanka. “The past six weeks have been non-stop, so to have it finally open is just really intense but also so exciting.

Or, as Entner put it, “We’re at the top of the roller coaster, we’re going down.”

PeteZaas, 766 Classon Ave. bet. St. Johns and Sterling, will be open every day but Tuesday from noon(ish) to midnight, but closed 4-5 p.m. 718-230-9229 (320-ZAAS).

 


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