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New restaurant to bring jobs, pizza to Deer Park

August 30, 2018

Pizza, new jobs and a relaxed dining atmosphere are three of the things that Brick Oven Pizza Co. is bringing to Deer Park, according to Melissa Morgan, area supervisor over the chain.

The restaurant, which employs about 60 people, celebrated with a soft opening Aug. 23 at 3601 Center St. A grand opening will occur sometime in late September.

Taste is the restaurant’s biggest concern, Morgan said. Employees are trained to bake pizzas without timers and to prepare fresh ingredients for menu items.

“We make our own dough, we cut our own vegetables, we shred our own cheese — we want to make sure that all of the things we’re serving are as fresh as possible because that adds to the taste and the dining experience.”

“Our pizza is also cooked the old-fashioned way, on a stone-hearth oven. So, halfway through the baking, we take the pizza out of the pan and let it finish on those bricks, which gives it a nice, crispy bottom and ensures that it’s cooked all the way through. It takes a little longer, but people will get to relax, have an appetizer and have a drink while they’re waiting — so it’s worth it.”

Company founder Scott Stevens, who has worked in the pizza industry since 1985, wanted to shift from a carry-out approach to a more sit-down model.

“He wanted to give people a little more upscale experience,” she said. “I know there are a lot of pizza places around Deer Park, but there aren’t any like us, and that was the goal. This is a dine-in, full-service restaurant.”

“We like to have a soft opening first without a lot of fanfare because it lets us work some of the kinks out while still making sure that our guests get really good service,” Morgan said.

The pizza place will also serve as a new hub for people looking to work in the restaurant business.

“it’s a good environment for everyone, but it’s especially good for students,” she said. “The hours are extremely flexible; so we have the ability to work around schedules, games, practices and after-school activities. It can be hard for a football player to work because a lot of times, they can’t get to a job until 7 (p.m.). But we’re open until 10 during the week and 11 on the weekends, so that lets them come in, close and still get a few hours.”

The company likes hiring athletes.

“Something that an athlete realizes, something that’s been ingrained in them since they were likely very little, is teamwork. They know how to work with a team. They know how important it is for everyone to do their part, and that’s what we believe as well,” Morgan said. “I always tell people, ‘Without a good team, this doesn’t work,’ and that’s true. If a supervisor can’t be in the store all the time, the store still has to run smoothly for guests, and that all comes down to teamwork.”

The restaurant can be reached at 832-324-4172. Visit bit.ly/2wptg9E for more information.

jennifer.bolton@chron.com

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