The owners of Pyro's Fire Fresh Pizza are hoping for a September opening for their first restaurant.
The bus stop sign for Pyro’s Fire Fresh Pizza was a head-turner, although it took me a minute or two to realize the red-tip wooden beams were matchsticks. Sometimes I’m a little slow.
Created by Paradigm Marketing and Creative, the sign at Ridgeway Road and Park Avenue directs attention to the Park Place center where a pizza restaurant in September will introduce Memphis to a new concept for casual dining. Renovation of the space formerly occupied by Jason’s Deli is underway.
Here’s how Pyro’s restaurant will work: Customers will customize individual 11-inch pizzas with both traditional and specialized toppings. (Think steak and potato pizzas, for example, or maybe a breakfast pie.) Pizzas will be ready to eat in three or four minutes thanks to a gas-fired ceramic oven that reaches 900 degrees. The dough will be thin, crispy on the bottom and moist on top.
“By the time guests get their drinks and sit down, their pizzas will be ready, and they will be exactly the way they want them,” explained Kirk Cotham, who is opening the restaurant with co-owner Chad Foreman.
The men are longtime associates who worked together most recently at Accredo Health Group. When the corporation was sold, they decided to start a restaurant together. “We are not chefs, but we enjoy eating out and were drawn to a service business,” said Cotham, detailing plans for several more locations in the Memphis and expansion into neighboring states.
Before settling on their pizza concept, Cotham and Foreman traversed the country from Atlanta to Seattle to L.A. “We realized that no one had paired this customized concept with the level of service and drink options we wanted to offer,” Cotham said.
More specifically, the restaurant will have wine, craft beers on tap, a high-quality coffee machine for hot and iced drinks and a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine like the one popularized by Five Guys. Salads also will be available with the same toppings as pizzas.
“We want to be about choices,” Cotham said. “We’ll even have a variety of seating to accommodate guests,” including booths, counter stools and outdoor tables.
Cotham isn’t worried about the cadre of restaurants already operating close by, including Jeremy Denno’s Rock ‘n Dough Pizza Co., because Park Place is turning into a Memphis restaurant destination.
“Rock ‘n Dough will be a good neighbor for us,” he said. “We won’t do delivery, and our restaurant will be a different experience.”
Pyro's Fire Fresh Pizza, 1199 Ridgeway Road