24 Jan, 2011 - First in state – Tony Sacco pizza eatery opens in Novi Town Center
By Nathan Mueller • STAFF WRITER • HomeTownLife.com
George Kurajian, co-founder of Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza, knew he was bringing a unique product to Novi.
But even he was surprised by how the business has been welcomed as repeat customers have already been filing during the business’ first week.
“No one has a product like ours,” Kurajian said while sitting in the restaurant as the lunch rush left on a recent Friday. “Everything we do is from scratch, and we wanted to bring that old-style, old-world cooking back.”
The uniqueness that Kurajian talks about revolves mainly around how they cook their pizzas.
Everything is prepared fresh and in front of the customers, but the key is the custom-build anthracite coal-burning oven that heats up to 1,000 degrees and “flash cooks” the pizza in about four minutes.
Kurajian said it keeps the crust crispier and does not cook the flavor out of their homemade pizza sauce and toppings.
“Coal has been used for making pizzas in Italy for over 500 years so we kind of are going back to the beginning,” he said.
Tony Sacco’s is starting to expand across the nation, but this is their first location in Michigan. They hired 38 employees, 29 full time, and took over a Novi Town Center building that faces Grand River Avenue that had been vacant for the last four years.
Novi resident Lindsay Kennedy was one of the restaurant’s repeat customers, dining with a friend Friday afternoon after trying the pizza for the first time on Monday.
“There was a lot of flavor,” she said. “You could taste the difference.”
Said Dominik Gunkel: “The crust is so thin and so rich.”
Novi’s Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza is located at 42970 Grand River Ave. It is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and from 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
For more information, call (248) 349-COAL.