Brookynites gave a big welcome to the new slice shop Norm’s Pizza when it opened Downtown last week, according to its owner.
“We had a line out the door for about two hours,” said Noam Grossman, who titled the spot after a frequent mis-hearing of his first name. Grossman and his partners, Brooklyn brothers Eli and Oren Halali and pizza consultant Anthony Falco, operate the upscale Upside Pizza in Manhattan, but immediately saw the potential in an empty spot across from Borough Hall.
“We knew we had to put something here,” said Grossman. “It’s a high-traffic area, but you couldn’t find a decent slice of pizza.”
There are three $1 slice joints within a block of Norm’s Pizza, but the new spot has higher ambitions that just churning out pies. The pizzas use a sourdough starter, leading to a dough that requires special training to stretch properly, along with speciality sauces that pack a lot of flavor.
Norm’s triple pizza oven turns out just five varieties: a simple cheese slice ($3), pepperoni, white pizza ($4 each), vodka-sauced pizza ($4.25); and a classic margherita ($4.50).
Grossman said that his pies were inspired by classic Brooklyn spots: the margherita is based on Juliana’s coal-fired pizza in Dumbo, while the white pie, made with garlic, two kinds of mozzarella, lemon zest; and an olive oil from Carroll Gardens spot Frankie’s 457, nods to an off-menu item at Totonno’s in Coney Island.
The next step for the tiny space — which can fit a dozen patrons at most, with seats for nine — will be expanding the hours to 11 p.m. every night, followed by delivery service.
Its bright yellow counters offer shakers of red pepper flakes and oregano, but not garlic powder, said Grossman, because he worked hard to get the right amount of garlic into the sauce. When someone asks for garlic powder, he urges them to try a bite first.
“People will try the slice, and say ‘I get it,’ ” he said. “Or not — it’s not for everyone.”
Norm’s Pizza [345 Adams St. between Willoughby and Johnson streets Downtown; (347) 916–1310, www.norms