You can get a 10-inch pepperoni or plain cheese pizza from Wick’s during Louisville Pizza Week. | Courtesy of Louisville Pizza Week

First it was Louisville Burger Week. The city showed its love for ground beef on a bun so much, that Louisville Pizza Week was born. It begins Monday, Nov. 12.

Louisville Burger Week was a promotion wherein various restaurants around the city offered up a $5 burger as a way to get people out to as many restaurants as possible, using a passport approach wherein diners can get a stamp and potentially be eligible for prizes.

Pizza Week will operate similarly, with 29 different spots around the Metro area offering $8 pizzas all week, through Nov. 18.

Both events are the creations of Tony Frank of Cincinnati. He took an idea that started out west and went regional with it, starting with Cincinnati. As publisher of City Beat, an alternative newsweekly in Cincinnati, he had connections with various markets in close proximity, including Louisville.

8th Street Pizza will offer either a 12-inch pepperoni pizza or a 12-inch 8th Street Deluxe, which is pictured. | Courtesy of Louisville Pizza Week

He said choosing the week before Thanksgiving will help give a boost to restaurants in what typically is a slow time of year. The pizzas offered by each restaurant must be at least 10-inch pies, and that’s the only real requirement.

Some, Frank said, are offering larger pizzas, while some, such as Blaze Pizza, will offer added value to their standard 10-inch pies.

Other participating restaurants include BoomBozz Craft Pizza & Taphouse, Bubba’s 33, Danny Mac’s Pizza, Impellizzeri’s Pizza, Mellow Mushroom St. Matthews, Mimo’s New York Style Pizzeria, North End Slice, Parlour, The Post and many others.

Frank said the promotion is, in a way, an alternative approach to a tasting event where vendors bring their food to a specific location and set up booths. Both accomplish something similar: getting people to try their food.

The Pizza Week passport approach, however, entices people to come and experience all that the restaurant has to offer, from service to ambience to the full menu and potentially drinks. You can pick up passports at any participating location.

And anyone can take advantage of the $8 pizzas, with or without a passport.

“Restaurants love it because they get to do what they do best inside their restaurants,” Frank said. “Getting people into these establishments is a critical part of it. There might be something else there you didn’t know they had.”

Pizzas offered will vary from place to place, which is part of the fun, he added. Some restaurants choose to test new or forthcoming menu items, while others leave it up to the customer to decide, be it a build-your-own to a choice of specific items on the menu.

The official passport will guide consumers in regard to what their $8 will get them at each stop, which also helps them decide which restaurants to try over the course of the seven days.

All participants who get at least four stamps from four spots will be entered to win more than $250 in gift cards and a tasting for eight people at Old 502 Winery. At the end of the week, participants can submit their passports to the website in photo form to be entered into the drawing.

A portion of the proceeds from Louisville Pizza Week will benefit Dare to Care, a local charity that provides food to needy families.

“It’s just fun,” said Frank. “People who like food, foodies who want to go out and try new places, this gives them a reason to go out and do that.”

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies.Email Kevin at [email protected]