At Brooklyn Brothers, Michael Ware recreates the pizzeria experience he knew as a child.
Most people have fond food memories from childhood. Cookies Mom used to bake. Hotdogs at the ball game. Popsicles from the ice cream truck and so many others. If you’re from Brooklyn, you may remember spending time at the local pizza joint. Just a taste of real New York-style pizza may be enough to send you straight back to a simpler time, a time when a slice of cheese pizza was all it took to set everything right.
It’s that special sense of childhood wonder and nostalgia that Michael Ware was aiming for when he opened Brooklyn Brothers Pizza Parlor in Franklin last year with his partner, Spencer Strand.
“This is as authentic as it gets,” says Ware. “I grew up in a pizza shop and I want people to have that happiness they felt as a kid. I want them to take a step back in time.”
Walking into Brooklyn Brothers Pizza, you feel like you’ve just set foot in a real pizza shop in the big city. Large photos and pictures of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge line the walls, along with a “Godfather” movie poster. You’ll also hear all of the neighborhood talk and chatter that you might expect in an NYC pizza joint.
“We love to talk to people,” says Ware. “Sometimes we’re just as tired from talking to people as we are from making pizza.”
As welcoming as the atmosphere is, it’s the food that has started to develop a cult following. They have regular customers coming all the way from East Nashville and beyond.
“There’s a lot of love in this pizza,” Ware says. “We make small batches of everything so we can always keep it fresh.”
In addition to slices and full pies, you’ll find a wide variety of Italian classics in the shop. Everything is truly handmade in-house, using only fresh, local ingredients. You’ll discover everything that you might find in a Brooklyn pizza shop: creampuffs, cannoli, sausage rolls, lasagna, calzones, chicken parm, a pasta of the day and cookies “as big as your head.” Even the bread used for their gigantic meatball subs is made fresh in-house.
“Everything here is from scratch,” says Ware. “These are the meatballs that my mom made when I was a kid. I’ve never changed the family tradition.”
It’s evident that a strong sense of tradition and family legacy runs deep throughout the shop. Michael’s daughter, Samantha, the operations manager of the store, truly shares Michael’s vision for the future of Brooklyn Brothers Pizza. His son, Vinny, also works in the shop and is a master showman. You may find him on any given night flipping and spinning pizza dough high in the air, much to the delight of their younger customers. Michael, who started making pizza when his parents passed away, puts family above all else.
“I’m working hard to truly build a legacy,” he says.
This fierce family loyalty carries over to Ware’s passion for the Franklin community. He hosts singer-songwriter showcases for local talent and offers deep discounts to Franklin schools. He wants his shop to be a place where everyone can relax and enjoy good food and good company.
“Once people come in once, they just get that feeling and they come back again and again,” says Ware. “I want to hear people say ‘I’ve been waiting for this pizza all week.'”
For an authentic taste of the big city, swing by the Brooklyn Brothers Pizza Parlor and see for yourself what all the talk is about. You might even find yourself transported back to a treasured pizza parlor from your own childhood.
Brooklyn Brothers Pizza is located at 1441 Highway 96 near Downs Blvd. More information is available at BklynBrosPizza.com.