Mikey’s Late Night Slice Turns Five
It began like so many other great eateries did. One guys says, “there’s no place to get a really great slice of pizza around here,”; the other says, “so true. We should open our own pizza place.”
And that’s exactly what they did. Five years ago this July 4th, Mikey Sorboro, Jason Biundo, and Bryce Ungerott launched the very first Mikey’s Late Night Slice, a small shack that is still operational at 1030 North High Street.
The goal wasn’t to produce the best pizza ever. Instead, the guys just wanted to make something they and their friends could enjoy after a long night, a pie that wasn’t particularly designed after any style, but rather one that was traditional enough to be familiar, but funky enough to call their own.
“We wanted to make pizza the way we like to eat it,” shares the guys on creating the Mikey’s brand. “We were making a place we wanted to go. We had kind of a plan going in; we knew we wanted the place to have a sense of humor without sacrificing what people would come for: a great slice of pizza.”
And so the guys worked day and night to open their first shop in the Short North. In the next five years that would follow, Mikey’s Late Night Slice grew into a Columbus standard, adding a slew of food trucks to their lineup as well.
There are now ten Mikey’s Late Night Slice shops around the city, including ones on North Campus, the Columbus Commons, and Woodlands Complex. They are regulars at festivals and are available for catering for special events.
The Fiery Death Pizza Challenge was introduced last summer, a reaction to customer demand for the spiciest pie. Many flocked, few conquered, but it’s now an annual occurrence, a challenge chili-heads around the city anticipate all year long.
Mikey’s also invented one of the city’s favorite condiments – Slut Sauce, a “smokey, tangy, sweet, and spicy” sauce perfect for pizza-dipping. It’s available for retail purchase, and has recently gotten a label upgrade with the addition of Columbus’ favorite drag queen, Nina West, featured on it.
Future plans for Mikey’s Late Night Slice involve taking the inaugural shack to 2.0 status, scouting other cities, like Athens, for a Mikey’s takeover, and opening Oddfellows Liquor Bar next door to the original shack.
“Our goal is to figure everything out now, come up with a plan, and wait for the right time to move forward,” adds the guys. “We realize we’re at a threshold for pizza places, so we’re working towards being pizza plus.”
Mikey’s Late Night Slice will be celebrating their big birthday with a big bash on Saturday from 3pm to 11pm at their Short North location. There will be live music, guest appearances, opportunities to support Mikey’s favorite charity, the Columbus Diaper Bank, free PBR, and something special for Mikey’s devout followers at 8pm.
For more on Mikey’s Five-Year Anniversary Party, visit www.latenightslice.com. And don’t forget to take a bite out of Pizza Face if you see him around town.
Photos by Ayana Wilson.