Owner has gourmet vision for Za

May 15, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
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

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. Well...you guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrst9VXVKfE

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. Well....as a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).