A traditional New York City pizzeria’s first location outside Brooklyn and Manhattan is coming to Gretna.
Williamsburg Pizza plan to open its doors southwest of 168th and Harrison streets June 1.
Jimmy John’s franchisee Dean Hodges is backing the pizza business’ move to Nebraska in a partnership with other investors.
The restaurant, which will share a building with a Jimmy John’s location, has geared up for its opening by practicing making pizzas and delivering them to area schools for their end-of-the-year celebrations.
“Even if they’re not perfectly round or perfectly put together, it will still get the word out,” Hodges said.
For Hodges, the dough is in the dough.
“We only opened up the book to do this because of the bread,” Hodges said. “The crust and quality is so good, just like Jimmy John’s.”
The recipe for the dough was developed by nine-time world pizza champion Nino Coniglio, who opened the first Williamsburg Pizza location with partners in 2013. Last year, Coniglio won the competitive Food Network cooking show “Chopped.”
Now, a decade later, investors are eager to grow the popular pizzeria to new markets with a twist.
“In New York, they just find a hole in the wall and fire up the ovens,” Hodges said. “We’re attempting to create a brand with logos and a distinct look inside and out. All that we started with was the pizza.”
The new Sarpy County restaurant will act as a prototype for the brand moving forward.
The restaurant serves two pizza styles, Brooklyn round crust and Grandma square crust, with a build-your-own option.
According to its website, Williamsburg’s Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano are made fresh daily or imported directly from Italy.
The menu also offers salads, garlic knots and hero sandwiches — New Yorker slang for a sub sandwich served hot or cold.
Hodges company, DKPM Investments Corp. are slotting future restaurants in Omaha.
Hawaiian Bros. Island Grill plans to open its first Nebraska location southwest of Interstate 80 and Highway 370 in partnership with the investment company.
“We’re going to do four locations here in the Omaha area and one in Lincoln,” Hodges said. “I invested with them due to the freshness of their food.”
The Hawaiian-inspired restaurant doesn’t use freezers in their kitchen and ensures no food goes to waste.
“We only want to associate what we are and what we do with the best of the best,” Hodges said. “We’re all about serving our employees so they serve the best product.”