Joshua Pollack, best known for making bagel magic at Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen, is on a mission to introduce more of his New Jersey and New York City favorites to Denver. In April, he launched Famous Original J's Pizza at 715 East 26th Avenue in Five Points, just two doors down from Rosenberg's. The walk-up pizzeria has been operating Friday through Sunday nights only since then, but Pollack is now ready to share his pizza with a bigger audience.
This week, Famous Original J's goes full-time, serving New York-style thin crust and rectangular "grandma" pies six days a week. Tonight (Wednesday, August 8), the pizzeria is throwing a grand-opening party with free PBRs (with a purchase of two pizza slices) and free garlic knots for anyone wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gear. After today, J's will be open from 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday, and 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
The pizzeria is located in a small kitchen in a tight corner of the building that also houses the 715 Club and Rosenberg's. The space was home to Zona's Tamales for more than forty years before it closed in 2010, and there's no room for tables inside, so J's has its primary order window on the side of the building facing Welton Street, with a second window on the 715 Club's patio. So you can order slices (starting at $3) or whole pies (there's only one size and they start at $20 for a cheese pizza) on the patio to enjoy with drinks from the bar, or order pizza to takeaway from the Welton Street side. Online orders can be made on Toast, and you can have pizza delivered through PostMates.
If you're ordering by the slice, there are several house specials available in addition to cheese and pepperoni: margherita, meat lovers (with sausage, pepperoni and diced Taylor Pork Roll), veggie, and a white pie made with ricotta, mozzarella, garlic oil and oregano. There's also a vegan pie topped with housemade almond "ricotta." The grandma pizza, according to pizza chef Mat Shumaker, is made with a different dough that undergoes a seven-day fermentation and is cooked in rectangular pans, resulting in a thick, crunchy crust.
Pollack isn't done bringing East Coast-style eateries to Denver. His next project is Lou's Italian, a deli and market slated to open later this year at 34th and Downing streets.
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