All8Up on Third Street in Hamilton is closed for a few weeks in April while remodeling and expansion work is completed.
Owner Brad Baker, who bought the downtown pizzeria in January, said he hopes the work is done quickly because “it’s big bucks I’m losing every week I’m shut down.”
A couple of days after the shutdown, Baker told the Journal-News he plans to move a pizza oven and some other things over to his Brisketology food truck and, plans to have a limited All8Up menu for delivery, carryout, and dining at Pinball Garage, which Baker also owns.
“We wanted to try at least to get people their pizzas delivered, and I wanted to keep my employees working like they’re used to working,” he said.
Credit: Nick Graham
Credit: Nick Graham
This expansion is happening because of the growth of Hamilton and the anticipated growth of Spooky Nook events and activities. Spooky Nook is the 1.2 million-square-foot complex on nearby North B Street that features a hotel, conference center, and the country’s largest indoor sports complex. The complex is beginning to consistently see thousands of visitors over the course of a weekend.
“We’re really trying to think 10 years down the road and really what’s going to happen with Spooky over the years,” Baker said.
Baker said he’d limit the menu during the construction closure to small and large pizzas with just a handful of topping options, but people are expected to get the first taste of All8Up barbecue and brisket-topped pizzas.
The pizzeria’s building has two addresses ― 21 and 23 N. Third St. ― though the restaurant only occupies 23 N. Third St. with the exception of the occasional large gathering. Baker said the remodeling will incorporate both sides of the building, allowing him to triple the size of the kitchen to accommodate a few things, such as “a much larger pizza oven.” He said former owner Tony Brown’s biggest setback was the size of the oven, which would only put out 18 to 20 pizzas an hour.
“Every year there, Tony increased his business exponentially because of how busy Hamilton’s been getting,” Baker said.
The new oven is expected to provide the ability to crank out 10 times the number of pizzas an hour. Baker said it “would be incredible” if they could sell 200 pizzas an hour, but has now expectations of that productivity, but the new oven will allow him to accommodate big orders. He can’t do that now.
“If a ball team, or two or three ball teams, from Spooky calls and wants some pizzas, we wouldn’t be able to make them,” he said. “Right now, we’d have to turn that order down unless we have advanced notice. We can’t, on the fly, do a big order like that.”
In addition to a larger kitchen, the dining room will effectively double from the 30 seats at present to 60 to 70 seats. There will also be a dozen beers on tap, along with a selection of bottles and cans.
“It will be similar to going to LaRosa’s or something,” he said.
While the current construction timeline for the restaurant to reopen is by June 1, it could be sooner. But when it does reopen, Baker said customers will see the expansion of the menu, which is expected to include the complete offerings from the Brisketology food truck and All8Up, though some redundant options will be consolidated.
“And we’ll be able to take both of those menus and really make some awesome things,” he said.
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