Owner has gourmet vision for Za

May 15, 2009
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Former Slinky in Broad RippleThe proprietor of a planned new pizza joint called Za in Broad Ripple, Michael Keenan, says he has enlisted an all-star cast to develop his pizza recipes: Chef's Academy Director Tony Hanslits developed a traditional tomato sauce; Meridian Chef Dan Dunville developed a sweet tomato sauce; and Rene's Bakery owner Albert Trevino is on dough duty. Za will offer a basic menu of slices of pizza, whole pizzas and breadsticks. Keenan, whose family is from the East Coast, said there's room in Indianapolis for a good pizza-by-the-slice restaurant. He hopes to open the first or second weekend in June in the former home of Slinky, a women's clothing store. Keenan has an option to expand into the spaces above the shop to allow for a larger dining room if business takes off.
  • What kind of pizza will this be? Since he's from the East coast, will it be a NY-style pizza? If so, what kind of ovens - coal-fired perhaps? (please, oh please, oh please)
  • Sound like great pizza! Can't wait to try a slice.
  • first or secnd week in June translates to latter half of June.
  • ANOTHER pizza join in Broad Ripple? Ugh. Pass.
  • I cannot wait!!!
  • It had better be really good - there are too many pizza places already for it to survive unless there's a reason to go there. Hope they make arrangements to contain the trash of any take out food.
  • If he's open till 330am on the weekends this summer he'll do alright. Pizza by the slice for the bar goers will do nicely. Hot Box is awesome but you gotta buy the pie.

  • unless this is coal-fired and really good, its just another pizza joint in BR. yawn.
  • The city needs more pizza-by-the-slice places, certainly. But I'm guessing it's too serve the BR late night folks. I prefer Fountain Square and Maria's Pizza. The uninspired BR throngs in from the suburbs can't find that neighborhood on a map.
  • Haha! Congrats on the ink Michael. :D

    MK tells me it will be OPEN LATE and open ALOT. IIRC he said $3 a slice, and they already have 2 in Chicago. MK is a great guy and he will do well. This will be god pie, but it won;t be like BAZ, UJ or that overpriced Greek Pizza dump. :lol:

    MK: keeping the drunks fed since 2009. :thumbsup:
  • lolz. :D

    god pie = good pie.
  • I prefer Fountain Square and Maria’s Pizza. The uninspired BR throngs in from the suburbs can’t find that neighborhood on a map.

    Gusto, in the Murphy building (Fountain Square) does an excellent thin crust pie. Breadsticks, spaghetti and meatballs and the meatball sub also rock. Great beer selection, too.

  • I said it on another thread. Operators! Beware this late night lure in BR that everyone seems to think is vital to your survival. All is not what it seems..

    Do not include traffic that is two days out of the week, six months out of the year, (won't even mention rain, etc.) into your business plan.

    Good, steady, day and evening business is what works. Not to say that you won't make a few bucks but nobody is eating from 10pm - 2am.

    my 2 cents
  • Wow, thanks for the business lesson Average Joe. :lol:

    I'll be sure to consult you when I decide to buy a new pencil too.
  • I would buy a #2, soft.

    Jokes, aside I have watched this folly for a number of years. This is Indianapolis. If, and when I see people in the street past 10pm on a weeknight in the rain, I will buy into this wow look at all the money you can make in three hours on a Friday and Saturday night in Broad Ripple!

    I'm not saying people don't make money. It sounds like his overhead is low and that's really all that matters. If he can make his break-even on a Tues then the rest will be gravy. Do you understand where I'm coming from?
  • Joe: Did Michael ever say he planned to make or break by the 10pm and after crowd?

    Uh, no.

    Stop being a know-it-all.

    And i don;t use p[encils. i never erase. :lol:
  • Not here to spar with you. Just stating the facts. If the product is good, the numbers have been run then BR is a great place to do business. All I'm saying is that BR during the day can be very slow. There are a multitude of options available and competition is stiff. I want to see any new place take off because I know how difficult the business is.

    I'll be one of the first in line to get a slice! Good luck Michael and welcome to Indy!
  • Da Hooey, you should listen to Av. Joe. He speaks the truth. While there are people eating late night in B-Rip, no one is making any money off of them five days out of the week. Just ask the GYRO joint, Dagwoods, Labamba (whom the only reason that they do ANY late night business is because you can scope drunk chicks and possibly see/get into a good fight. Za should work fine based simply on its location alone, and if the overhead is decent, it could even make a buck. I guess my question is if this is a franchise operation, why does the owner need big name chefs to create sauce and dough recipes? Isn't that why you buy a franchise to begin with?
  • The savviest late-night operator in the city?

    -Rent/Utilities/Labor Cost - EXTREMELY Low.
    -Has a quickly served product that is hot and satisfying to many.
    -Is always near the crowds.
    -Never loses money on the weekdays.
    -Can open or close whenever He/She chooses.

  • sounds like you 2 don't want any competition. :lol:

    Za will be fine. not to worry. (And i do not believe it is a franchise, just some guys doing business together.)
  • Da Hooey,

    please wikipedia the following:

    cost of goods sold
    gross margin
    break-even analysis

    Then look up the word daypart

    read and review then return the forum. Like I said, I personally will be one of the first in line. I support all the neighborhood joints and will do the same here. What is being said is real. Please go away with the armchair entrepreneuring
  • Went and got two slices of pepperoni pizza!! The pizza was great!!!...... if I got a little more sauce, cheese and pepperoni for the $9.63 I paid for these two pieces!! What happened to the $3.00 slice?? They came out on paper plates and I asked if I could get a to go box. He insisted that I pay him $.25 for a to go box!!! I seriously thought he was joking. Is this what you do to get first time customers to come back after you have been open for less than a week?? Good effort... keep tryin'!! And I was sooo excited:( Customer service makes a difference! This is the only place I could find to share my thoughts!
  • Pizza, pizza, burrito...Fat Dan's Chicago-Style Deli just opened on the BR Strip. Way different choices for lunch, dinner and late nite dining...really cool atmosphere, tv's, beer coming soon, and unbelievable food. The best wings in Indy by far...
  • Horrible Experience
    The pizza was way too expensive, the service took too long, and the person working was very rude. If this place doesn't make some management changes it won't be around very much longer

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  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.