Hot off a four-month stint slinging Gozney-baked pizza pies at Marrickville’s Grifter brewery, the Pizza Bros – brothers Joey Pepperoni and Marty McFly (really – they legally changed their names) – have found a new permanent home: right up top at The Imperial Hotel. The always-on party palace in Erskineville is packed with dance animals most nights, it’s about time the rooftop dining room got in on the action. The new offering is fun and very flashy, courtesy of a shiny gold-tiled woodfire oven.
“It’s our first permanent location,” Pepperoni tells Broadsheet. “We’ve been head pizza chefs for lots of different pizzerias” – like Bella Brutta, Gigi’s and The Dolphin – “but this is just a different thing. We’re quite on show, it’s like the theatre. This is where can really be ourselves.”
And themselves they are (if the name changes didn’t tip you off). They’re firing their signature leopard-crust pizzas, but leaning away from Italian traditions. “We respect the old way, but we want to do fun, new, interesting things,” McFly says. “The chilli and prawn Waterworld comes from our background living in Thailand. We both speak Thai – Joey’s fluent and I can speak a bit. Our tastebuds are out of whack from all the chillies. It’s garlic prawns, a lacto-fermented chilli-sauce base that we make, and pork and basil. We love stir-fries, and even though it doesn’t taste like a stir-fry, it works.”
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Joining the fiery crustaceans is the lauded cacio e pepe pizza, a double-cream-topped heart-stopper that brings fior di latte, pecorino and parmesan, and black truffle too. (Go big on the dairy by adding a plump blob of Vanella’s burrata, if you dare.) There’s also the laid-back Ricky & Morty, which is topped with fior di latte, garlic oil, LP’s mortadella and pesto, and the Sassy Sausage, which is stacked with pomodoro sugo and a herby salsiccia from fellow inner-west joint Whole Beast Butchery.
The pair are enjoying having more space and a home to call their own. “[At Grifter], we were taken aback by how much good feedback we were getting,” says Pepperoni. “Took a bit of time to sink in, cos we were so busy cooking. We basically did every shift there – we didn’t hire anyone.”
At Grifter, all the pizzas were baked in one of two compact Gozney ovens. “It was one pizza at a time, which is very difficult when you’re cooking for 100.” So, at the Impy, settle in for a pre-boogie feed – and expect your slices a little quicker than before.
It’ll be relaxed vibes throughout the weekdays, and DJs ramping it up from 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2pm on Sundays. See you there.
Pizza Bros at The Imperial
Rooftop of The Imperial Hotel, 35 Erskineville Road, Erskineville