By Alicia Dziak

Red, white, veggie, meaty—no matter how you slice it, pizza is many people’s fave food, and now you can enjoy it brick-oven style right here in Ellicottville when Monroe Street Brick & Brew (MSBB) opens its doors on Monday, June 27.

Frank Maduri, of Olean, his longtime friend, Steve Feldman, of Bradford, and Steve’s son, Justin Feldman, also of Bradford, joined forces to bring MSBB to EVL.

“We saw a vacant building and had a vision,” Maduri said. The building is the former Laundromat at 21 Monroe Street.

When the three got into the building in January, they had their work cut out for them. “We had to do everything,” Maduri explained, like adding restrooms, a heating system and office space.

“We took it down to the brick, took the lower ceiling out, added new wood to the existing beams and built a brick bar out of the same bricks used to build the brick oven,” noted Justin, who will serve as the restaurant manager.  His two partners will work more on the business side of things.

The centerpiece of the new restaurant is that brick oven right behind the counter where pizzas will be freshly prepared to order and staff will be nearby shaping dough balls into pizza crusts. The oven features stones from Italy, a temp of 900+ degrees, fits 12-14 personal pizzas at one time, and can cook almost everything in only four minutes (wings take eight minutes).

“We want this to be a 50/50 split between a great pizza and a great experience,” Justin said, adding that the restaurant’s slogan of “Fast. Fire. Fresh.” pretty much says it all.

He described the atmosphere as “fast but relaxed,” and one in which customers will be acknowledged the minute they walk in the door.

And what exactly is featured on the menu? Pizza of course! Specialty pies include Buffalo chicken, pesto tomato, meat lover and more, or you can create a custom pie and choose from numerous toppings, such as spinach, Italian sausage, ricotta and more. While no pizzas by the slice will be sold, personal pizzas can be freshly prepared in just minutes, making it convenient for those stopping in during their lunch breaks.

MSBB also offers brick oven chicken wings, calzones and salads.

“We’re detailed about what we do and have a straightforward menu,” Justin stated.

He noted that the restaurant specials will not be daily, but most likely monthly.

“I’m going to sit with the team and we’ll come up with the specials together,” he explained. “We really want to create specials that speak our brand and that are put together with knowledge.”

And where does the “brew” part of the name come into play? There will be several beers on tap and in bottles, as well as wine.

MSBB will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Hours will be Sundays through Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Thursdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to midnight.

In addition, they will deliver within a three-mile radius (possibly farther in the future).

“We love the brick oven experience and wanted to bring something fresh and the pizza we love to Ellicottville,” Justin said.

For more info, visit monroestpizza.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.