Kirkwood Avenue will be getting a little slice of New York in March.
Goodfellas Pizzeria, a Lexington, Kentucky-made pizza chain, will be moving into Bluetique's old location on Kirkwood Avenue.
“My family is from Long Island, New York, and we wanted to bring true authentic New York-style pizza by the slice to Lexington, and we started it and it kind of took off,” owner Alex Coats said.
The Bloomington location will be their seventh. The first location was in Lexington, where Coats and co-owner Eric Boggs graduated from University of Kentucky. Five years later, they opened up a second location in Lexington, then two in Cincinnati and two in Indianapolis.
Coats said he likes the energy and vibe of Bloomington and thinks it’s the perfect place for their type of business.
“We saw there was a need for a true authentic New York-style pizza by the slice in a late night concept,” he said.
This was also the inspiration behind the original location. Coats and Boggs, saw a need in Lexington because there were few options to get pizza after leaving the bars at night.
On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Goodfellas stays open until around 3 a.m. to combat this common problem.
When Coats and Boggs first started out, they only had the location open at night because they were still working their day jobs. But, it became popular enough that they ended up opening it full time.
Goodfellas Pizzeria offers three different sizes of pizza, including a 22-inch pizza. Coats said it takes up the whole table when it’s ordered.
People can either come and sit in the restaurant or pick a single slice of pizza and go.
General manager Jimmy Gadd started working with the company four years ago rolling dough.
“Once I noticed the family atmosphere of the company and all the people that worked there, and I got to meet the owners for the first time I was locked in,” Gadd said.
Now, he has helped train employees for three locations, and Bloomington will be the fourth.
He teaches new employees how to make the dough and do dough tricks.
"They put on a show,” he said. “They have a lot of fun with the customers which is something we’re big on.”
Though all their buildings are made with the same materials and have photos of gangsters, Frank Sinatra and New York City adorning the walls, Coats said they try to make each store feel like a local place. They do this by getting involved in the local community through charity work and donations.
The involvement with the community started before they were even opened. Though the owners knew they wanted to open pizzeria because Coats has an Italian heritage, the name and types of pizza were decided on by friends and Lexington locals.
The owners and their friends came up with a basic list of name ideas but went into local bars and had patrons vote on their favorite name and Goodfellas won.
“Goodfellas was actually a pizzeria created by the people around us,” Coats said.
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