It’s been a long time coming, but finally, you can find New York-style pizza in Louisville at The Post in Germantown.
Newly opened Jan. 14, the Germantown pizzeria is producing 12-, 16- and 20-inch thin and chewy crust pies baked on a stone deck, minimally topped and sliced into sixths. For $3 you can get a foldable, floppy wedge of cheese pizza about the size of a baseball pennant. Fifty-cents more will get you pepperoni, and $1 more will get you a two-topping slice of the day. Whole pie prices range from $10.95 to $25.95.
Owners Nash and Laura Neely have worked for the better part of a year to convert the aged VFW Post on Goss Avenue into a neighborhood pizzeria that, in theme, acknowledged its initial reason for being, albeit subtly. Outside of a lone American flag hanging in the dining room, there’s no military décor, but the menu is replete with wartime themes and names: The Allies is a topped with pepperoni, sausage, ham and bacon, while the Victory Garden is a veggie fest with artichokes, olives, sundried tomatoes and more. And you have to love the Army Brat, which combines bratwurst, garlic, jalapeno, cheddar, sauerkraut and brown mustard.
“We wanted to have a little fun with the pizza names,” said Nash Neely, who left his job as an asset liability analyst at Republic Bank to operate The Post. Laura Neely will continue working as an attorney and help out in her spare time. “We’re just glad to be open and making pizza. It’s taken a long time to get here.”
The lineup of 10 subs gets straightforward monikers of “chicken,” “brat,” “grilled steak,” etc., as do the five salads (house, Caesar, caprese, spinach and Italian). Calzones start at $7.95 and go up with each standard filling ($1.25) and premium filling ($2.45).
Pickett Passafume Architects designed a clean and utilitarian room that blends wood and concrete floors with metal and wood chairs, low ceilings, ample tables and lots of standing room. Out front is a large wooden deck that will be great for curbside dining come springtime.
For a 2,900 square-foot restaurant, the bar is nicely sized (“a good one for sittin’ at,” old timers would say) and has a well-rounded selection of 16 draft beers, about double that number in bottles, and a solid spirits selection. If you want good bourbon poured neat, there are several choices.
“We didn’t think we wanted to get in to having that much in the way of liquor at first,” Neely said, “but our bar manager convinced us to do it. I think it was a good call.”
Neely said the kitchen design was redone “at least 10 times,” but the final result is roomy and ideal for volume pizza making. Having learned the trade several years ago making pizza and managing at Pazzo’s, a pizza and craft brew operation in Lexington, he knew what he wanted. (The Mayfield, Ky., native also earned his MBA at the University of Kentucky along the way.)
Not satisfied with inventory available on the normally glutted used equipment market, he and his wife (also from Mayfield) forked over the dough for new gear, including a gleaming pair of stacked Bakers Pride deck ovens, widely acknowledged as the standard for New York-style pizza.
“It didn’t make sense to buy any of it used in this case,” Neely said. “Fixing equipment isn’t something we want to be doing right now.”
And about that delicious, delightful and correct-to-standard New York-style pizza: I spent nine fortunate years writing about nothing other than the pizza industry, and while I won’t call myself an expert, I enjoyed extraordinary exposure to some of the best you could find in the U.S.
The Post’s pizza is on point if you like this style, which happens to be the type I sometimes wake up craving. Even though the best pizzas I’ve had aren’t New York-style, there’s something about its unique combination of crust, cheese and toppings that creates feelings of longing in both mind and body.
I also crave the pizzas at Coals Pizza and Garage Bar, two of the town’s best and exceptional representations of coal-oven and Neapolitan-styles. But there’s something inexplicable about that best of Big Apple bites that has a hold on me.
I predict others also will fall victim to this yearning because The Post is an everyman’s joint where it’s easy to get a slice and a beer for less than 10 bucks. Such places are perfect for Germantown, where residents already can walk to numerous restaurants (including Danny Mac’s Pizza, also a recommended stop) for exceptional casual meals and drinks. Mike Morris, president of the Schnitzelburg Area Community Council, grinned when I implied that local residents are enviably located.
“This is a perfect place for our area because it’s a neighborhood place,” said Morris, an attorney who moved to the neighborhood several years ago from a Trimble County farm. He stopped by to have a drink on opening day and congratulate the Neelys. “There’s a lot more coming, too, with the Germantown Mill Lofts and other retail development. It’s a great time to live here, I can tell you that.”
This initial version of this post incorrectly identified Mike Morris, president of the Schnitzelburg Area Community Council. IL regrets the error.