Pizza Today - July 2017 - 53

full liquor license, and bartenders create
signature drinks, including a martini
made with pickle juice (hey, don't knock
it until you've tried it!). Giannone took
out some tables to make room for a bar
because he found people would put their
names in for tables - with a wait time
of up to 90 minutes - and then would
drink the time away in nearby bars. "I
wanted to capture part of that," he says.
Alcohol accounts for 25 to 30 percent of
sales.
Despite multiple locations, "I'm
here six nights a week," Giannone

says. "I am one with the restaurant. This
is not a business for me. This is my life,
and I enjoy it. What I used to do at home,
I'm doing here. And now, I don't have to
figure out ways to get people to come in
here. They line up."
We saw this first-hand on a summer
Tuesday, when every table was full shortly
after the restaurant opened at 6 p.m. "I'm
here, I do my best to talk to all the guests
who come in, and I enjoy that. I have a
curiosity about people," Giannone says.
When he first opened, Giannone

admits he knew very little about running
a restaurant, but he got good help from
the start, including a kitchen manager
who established the processes still used
today. Noteworthy is the fact that the
two-dozen employees don't wear branded
clothing. Instead, Giannone wants them
to look like the guests who frequent the
restaurant. He admits hiring has been
challenging because "I don't hire dishwashers who want to be dishwashers. I
hire dishwashers who want to be pizza
makers. They'll pay their dues for a little
while, they'll work harder than anybody
for the measly little money I can pay
them, but you get a good employee out of
them."
Giannone himself likes sporting gear
from other pizzerias, including the
Minneapolis-based Pizzeria Lola hat
he wore during our visit (Lola was our
2014 Independent of the Year). "Subliminally, I'm telling (guests) that I'm secure
enough in what I'm serving (that) I'm
willing to tell them to go somewhere else
to eat pizza," he says. "First and foremost,
I'm a pizza enthusiast. I pay tribute to
other pizzerias."

Giannone most enjoys working
for himself, even if that requires solving

his own challenges. Since the company's
inception, more stores have opened
in Columbus, Ohio; Miami; Chicago
and Baltimore. All are franchised, but
Giannone has plans to open a slice shop
around the corner from his Greenpoint
location in Brooklyn. With no takeout
at Paulie Gee's and the neighborhood
rapidly growing, he thinks a traditional
1960s-style New York slice shop using
deck ovens won't cannibalize his sit-down
business while still capitalizing on his
solid reputation.
"If you don't take risks and walk
through that wall of fear, nothing's going
to happen," he says. "Most importantly, I
had children who were becoming adults,
and I had to show them what I was made
of. They're going to think they're made up
of what I'm made up, and I had to show
them how to succeed." n
MANDY WOLF DETWILER

editor at Pizza Today.

is managing

J U LY 2 0 1 7 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 5 3


http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - July 2017

Pizza Today - July 2017
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
On Tap
Destinations
Knead to Know
Guest Safety
Summer Veggies
Picking the Right Oven
DIY Video
Road to Pizza & Pasta Northeast
Pizza Today on the Road: Paulie Gee’s, Brooklyn, NY
Product Showcase
Pizza Today on the Road: Williamsburg Pizza, Brooklyn, NY
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - July 2017 - CT1
Pizza Today - July 2017 - CT2
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Pizza Today - July 2017
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Cover2
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Commentary
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 4
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 5
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Contents
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 7
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 8
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 9
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Contributors
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 11
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 13
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Interact
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 15
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Conversation
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 17
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 19
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 21
Pizza Today - July 2017 - On Tap
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 23
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Destinations
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 25
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 27
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 28
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 29
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Guest Safety
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 31
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 32
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 33
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Summer Veggies
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 35
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 36
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 37
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Picking the Right Oven
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 39
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 40
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 41
Pizza Today - July 2017 - DIY Video
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 43
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 44
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 45
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Road to Pizza & Pasta Northeast
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 47
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 48
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 49
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Paulie Gee’s, Brooklyn, NY
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 51
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 52
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 53
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 54
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 55
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 56
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 57
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 58
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Pizza Today on the Road: Williamsburg Pizza, Brooklyn, NY
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 61
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 63
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 64
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 65
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 66
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 67
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 68
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 69
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 70
Pizza Today - July 2017 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 72
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 73
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 74
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 75
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 76
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 77
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 78
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 79
Pizza Today - July 2017 - 80
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Cover3
Pizza Today - July 2017 - Cover4
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