Mike Kaffer is giving Seaside locals simple, quality pizza another go.
Kaffer briefly owned and operated Avenue Q pizza before having to close in March due to mechanical issues with the building. But when he saw the vacancy on Avenue B left by Gray Whale BBQ earlier this summer, he decided to give his dream of starting a pizza parlor of his own another chance.
“Life is so complicated now. I’m not into smart phones or computers. I just like making food,” Kaffer said. “It’s a simple, old school thing.”
Simple and old school is what Kaffer is trying to encapsulate at A&B Pizza. The shop is a one-man operation. The entire menu consists of a concise list of classic toppings scribbled onto a chalk board, such as pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, olives, basil and pineapple. To drink? A small selection of water and soda $1 a piece. Only full 16-inch thin crust pizzas will be offered, created with a handmade, long-fermented pizza dough.
At A&B pizza, his goal is to not only create quality pizza, but quality connections with the local community.
“I really like the model of The Stand,” Kaffer said, referring to the Mexican restaurant on Holladay Drive. “Being conscious to the locals is important. I want a personal relationship with my customers, so that when you walk in I know if you want more or less char on the crust than I normally do, or how much cheese you like. I don’t want to just capture the people driving by the highway.”
Growing up in Tennesee, Kaffer has been making pizza for the majority of his life. While he’s ready “to be his own boss,” he has no desire to be a restaurant manager or to start a small pizza empire.
“If I did that, I’d be spending less time making pizza, which is what I love to do,” he said.
Although the interior still has a minimalistic aesthetic to it, Kaffer is open for business Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“I love Seaside, and Seaside has been very accepting to me,” Kaffer said.