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Mystery behind lower Yates Street storefront revealed

Puzzled looks have been a mainstay of lower Yates Street where passersby have tried in vain to figure out what was really happening behind a storefront's blackened windows.

Mystery behind lower Yates Street storefront revealed

First it was to be an Internet cafe. Then a Blockbuster.

Most recently signage adorning a lower Yates Street storefront promises a restaurant by the famed Food Network host, Guy Fieri.

Confused yet? Feeling trolled, so is the rest of the city.

Citified decided to set the record straight and tracked down the operators to once and for all determine what is really going on behind the black window covering keeping gawkers at bay and work crews veiled behind a shroud of retail secrecy.

So, are you ready…

…for New York-style pizza?

"Pizzas the size of a car tire and slices the size of your face, that's what New York-style pizza is all about," says Matt Quinn, General Manager of Famous Original set to open later this month in the 500-block of Yates Street.

"Famous Original will be a neighbourhood place where you can get an authentic, and I mean truly authentic, New York-style slice with a beer. We've even hired a chemist to ensure the water used in our pizza dough is as similar to New York's water chemistry as possible. Like with beer, water is important, so if you want authentic New York-style pizza you need to do it right."

Backing Famous Original is a team of entrepreneurs that includes Victoria's Midas touch tech guru, Andrew Wilkinson, whose company, MetaLab, just happens to be in the midst of an office expansion only several storefronts down. And given the group's success in a variety of endeavours, they get "it." They're well-travelled. They're well-versed in what makes hot places hot the world over. And they have the means to pull off something spectacular in their home town as they take over the neighbourhood (literally).

"Everything is going to hold up to a real New York-style pizza place. I mean it would pass in New York," Quinn says, adding that beers will be priced as cheap as they can be legally sold to create an atmosphere where people will want to hang out and linger long after their pie has disappeared.

Famous Original will also offer an assortment of old-school food items, desserts and a healthy list of libations.

"We'll be open in about 10 days, the final push is on now," Quinn says.

All joking aside, there's little doubt Famous Original will be a hit. After all, if there's one thing nerds are familiar with, it's a good slice of pizza. C


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