You could be in Italy circa 1965, but the street’s too clean, the music too disco and the restaurant next door too Korean.
This is Johnny’s Pizzeria, Bakery Lane’s newest resident. Tucked at the very back in a space previously occupied by Laruche Kiosk, the family-run Moubment Group has transformed the hole-in-the-wall into a super casual late-night pizzeria and bar. “Johnny [Moubarak] and I were in Melbourne and we went to this really cool late-night pizzeria,” co-owner Katie Moubarak says. “I was saying, ‘Johnny, we need to do something like this and call it Johnny's Pizza’. He was like, ‘I love the idea, but you're not fucking calling it after me’.”
Regardless, Katie came back to Brisbane and told brother Elie. Together, they developed the venue without Johnny’s knowledge. “We wanted to make it look really kitschy,” Katie says. “You know that real old-school Italian with the red-and-white tablecloths, and all the cute little plastic caddies that we use.”
It sets the scene for classic thin and crispy hand-stretched pizza, courtesy of Italian pizza chefs Nicola Robertiello and Luca Jonathan Ferrentino. The menu’s “Classico” range offers five simple flavours (margherita, quattro formaggio, vegetariana, cotto e funghi, carne) for $12. An additional five gourmet pizza specialties – such as the tartufo with fior di latte, white truffle oil and prosciutto – go for $17. Gluten-free bases are available for an extra $5. Sides include a rocket salad, fries and antipasto boards. Every Friday the venue will be doing two-for-one pizzas.
Simple eats means simple drinks. The cocktail menu deals mostly in aperitifs – think Americanos and Campari and sodas; it’s backed by two beers on tap, eight more by the bottle and 11 wines.
The simplicity of the open-air pizzeria is designed to complement the Moubment Group’s other Bakery Lane venues, The Apo and Laruche. “You can go to Laruche, have a really nice cocktail and go hard to some dance music,” Katie says. “Then come outside to have a rest, get more chilled disco music and have a late-night pizza.”