Lauded Brooklyn Pizzeria Paulie Gee’s to Open in The Short North
A slice of New York City pizza is coming to Columbus.
Paulie Gee’s, which was recently declared the best pizza in NYC by a Zagat survey, is slated to open an Ohio location later this fall. The Brooklyn-based pizzeria will occupy the former Short North Coffee House space at 1195 N. High Street.
Founder Paulie Gee is a former-IT-worker-turned-pizza-maker who opened the original Paulie Gee’s in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood in 2010. Five years later, he now has franchise leases signed in Miami and Baltimore, as well as Columbus. Gee met Columbus owner/operator Terry Gibbs through mutual friends. He’d had plans to open a Short North location for years, and sat down with Gibbs over pizza to convince him to open his Columbus branch.
“It felt like I was eating pizza for the first time — it made the music sound better, the people next to me look better, just made everything better,” said Gibbs. “I wanted to bring it to Columbus. I was sold after that.”
Gibbs worked at the Brooklyn location for a year from the ground up, gaining hands-on experience in almost every kitchen position in preparation for opening the Short North location.
The restaurant acquired the 2,400 square foot space last week. It will be undergoing a full interior and storefront renovation, including the installation of an Italian wood-burning Stefano Ferrara oven. Including bar space, the restaurant will seat about 70. Patrons will additionally be able to dine at the full-service bar. Local beer will be available on tap, as well as a respectable wine selection.
The pizza itself is Neapolitan-style, with toppings ranging from classic to contemporary; the Brian DeParma, a simple tomato and parmigiano-reggiano-topped pie, sits alongside the Cherry Jones, covered with gorgonzola, prosciutto, dried cherries, and orange blossom honey.
“Everyone helps create the menu,” said Gibbs. “Paulie prides himself on coming up with new flavor combinations – he likes to be a little innovative and out of the ordinary.”
Many of the more popular inventive pies will cross over from the Brooklyn menu, but Gibbs intends on introducing a few recipes of his own; Gee allows his franchise owners a fair amount of autonomy in menu development.
For more information, visit www.pauliegee.com.