LONG-running Wodonga restaurant Hollywoods is set to have an offshoot with a wood-fired oven pizza eatery to open at the premises.
Husband-and-wife owners Steven Hams and Jennifer Waugh have invested $40,000 in installing the oven which will drive Hollywoods’ sister restaurant.
“It’s going to have its own entrance and style, it’s going to be called Wood,” Mr Hams said.
“I want Hollywoods to go back to being a small Italian-style cafe and Wood will be its own thing.”
The move follows drilling company owner Graham Lawrence telling The Border Mail last month he wanted to buy Hollywoods and turn into a steakhouse.
Mr Hams said Mr Lawrence had spent about 15 minutes in his restaurant looking around but he had not spoken to him since.
“He sounded interested, he was quite a good talker but it came to nothing,” Mr Hams said.
The wood-fired oven will complement two existing ovens that already make traditional Australian-style and gourmet pizzas.
Mr Hams estimates once Wood is open there will be more than 40 types of pizza being made at the site.
“In theory it can spit out 120 pizzas in an hour, because it cooks really quickly,” he said of the wood-fired oven.
“It sits at 400 degrees Celsius, so it can cook a pizza in 90 seconds.”
With Wodonga diners travelling to Albury to eat out in Dean Street, Mr Hams has diversified into home deliveries as well as investing in the wood-fired oven.
“It’s a little hard in Wodonga, that’s why we’re making it so people can get our food anyway they want – they can eat in or get it delivered,” he said.
Wood, which will have its entrance off Thomas Mitchell Drive, will open on Friday October 12.
A partition will separate it from Hollywoods, with the 180-diner capacity shared between both eateries.
Mr Hams said pizzas cooked in the wood-fired oven would have a much thinner crust.
“We will use a 350-gram dough ball for them, our normal dough ball is 220 grams,” he said.
Meanwhile, the lease of another Wodonga eatery Cafe Grove has been formally transferred to Mr Lawrence by the city’s council which owns the former shire chambers.
Mr Lawrence announced his intention to takeover the cafe at the same time he told The Border Mail he was interested in Hollywoods.
Councillors voted unanimously at their meeting this month to transfer the lease to Mr Lawrence, subject to the sale of the business.
Council property officer Kerrianne Bradbery reported that settlement of the sale was set for September 3 with the transferred lease to expire on June 30, 2020.